Objective: To investigate whether neuromuscular electrical stimulation improves mobility in children with spastic cerebral palsy. Methods: PubMed, Cochrane, EMBASE, and Scopus were searched for randomized controlled trials studying the effects of NMES on the lower limbs in children with spastic CP. Randomized controlled trials comparing the effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation with that of placebo or conventional therapy on mobility in children with cerebral palsy were eligible for inclusion. Two reviewers independently screened studies, extracted data, and examined the risk of bias and quality of evidence by using the revised Cochrane Risk-of-Bias Tool for Randomized Trials (RoB 2.0) and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) method. The final search was conducted on May 23, 2022. Results: A total of 14 randomized controlled trials (2 crossover studies and 12 parallel studies including 421 patients) were included in this meta-analysis. Compared with the control group (conventional physical therapy), the treatment group exhibited greater improvement in walking speed (standardized mean difference = 0.29; 95% confidence interval = 0.02–0.57) and the standing, walking, running, and jumping dimension of the Gross Motor Function Measure (standardized mean difference = 1.24; 95% confidence interval = 0.64–1.83). Conclusion: Neuromuscular electrical stimulation improved mobility in children with spastic cerebral palsy, particularly in standing, running, and jumping function, and it is safe for children with spastic cerebral palsy.
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