The use of surface electromiography as a measure of physiotherapy outcomes in children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review


  • Bruna Garcia Schmidt Centro de Integração da Criança Especial; AACD – Associação de Assistência à Criança Deficiente, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil
  • Laís Rodrigues Gerzson Programa de Pós-Graduação Saúde da Criança e do Adolescente, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brasil
  • Carla Skilhan de Almeida Departamento de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Dança, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brasil



Cerebral palsy, Physiotherapy, Electromyography


Introduction: Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood. Physical therapy plays a central role in managing the treatment of disease sequelae. However, it is always a challenge to quantify the results obtained in physical therapy interventions. Thus, surface electromyography has been increasingly used by physiotherapists because it is a quantitative method of evaluation and treatment of neuromuscular system dysfunctions.

Objective: To analyze the use of surface electromyography as a physical therapy outcome measure in children with cerebral palsy.

Methods: From the search in two important databases, clinical trials of physical therapy interventions that used surface electromyography as a physiotherapy outcome factor in children with cerebral palsy, published in Portuguese, English, French or Spanish until August 2019, were selected.

Results: A total of 166 articles were found in the databases searched. Of these, only 15 were included and classified with good methodological quality by PEDro and because they were related to surface electromyography. A flowchart with standardization of actions was built taking into account the most prevalent findings in the studies.

Conclusion: Surface electromyography has been applied by physiotherapists to evaluate the effects of the intervention, but it is necessary to improve its level of evidence.



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Author Biography

Bruna Garcia Schmidt, Centro de Integração da Criança Especial; AACD – Associação de Assistência à Criança Deficiente, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil

Fisioterapeuta, Kinder


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