Review article (meta-analysis)| Volume 98, ISSUE 1, P137-150, January 2017

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Gait Retraining With Real-Time Biofeedback to Reduce Knee Adduction Moment: Systematic Review of Effects and Methods Used



      To review the current literature regarding methods and effects of real-time biofeedback used as a method for gait retraining to reduce knee adduction moment (KAM), with intended application for patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA).

      Data Sources

      Searches were conducted in MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials with the keywords gait, feedback, and knee osteoarthritis from inception to May 2015.

      Study Selection

      Titles and abstracts were screened by 1 individual for studies aiming to reduce KAM. Full-text articles were assessed by 2 individuals against predefined criteria.

      Data Extraction

      Data were extracted by 1 individual according to a predefined list, including participant demographics and training methods and effects.

      Data Synthesis

      Electronic searches resulted in 190 potentially eligible studies, from which 12 met all inclusion criteria. Within-group standardized mean differences (SMDs) for reduction of KAM in healthy controls ranged from .44 to 2.47 and from .29 to .37 in patients with KOA. In patients with KOA, improvements were reported in pain and function, with SMDs ranging from .55 to 1.16. Methods of implementation of biofeedback training varied between studies, but in healthy controls increased KAM reduction was noted with implicit, rather than explicit, instructions.


      This review suggests that biofeedback gait training is effective primarily for reducing KAM but also for reducing pain and improving function in patients with KOA. The review was limited by the small number of studies featuring patients with KOA and the lack of controlled studies. The results suggest there is value and a need in further researching biofeedback training for reducing KAM. Future studies should include larger cohorts of patients, long-term follow-up, and controlled trials.


      List of abbreviations:

      FPA (foot progression angle), KAM (knee adduction moment), KOA (knee osteoarthritis), PROM (patient-reported outcome measure), RCT (randomized controlled trial), SMD (standardized mean difference)
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