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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


NAIDOO, Pragashnie. Towards evidenced-based practice - A systematic review of methods and tests used in the clinical assessment of hypotonia. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2013, vol.43, n.3, pp.2-8. ISSN 2310-3833.

BACKGROUND: There is much contention about the measures used for the assessment of hypotonia in children and in order to determine what is available within the scientific literature, a systematic review to provide a critical appraisal of the studies describing the methods and tests used in the clinical assessment of hypotonia in children was undertaken. METHODS: A systematic process in searching and identifying relevant literature was followed. An analysis and synthesis of the literature was undertaken by two reviewers, with a specific review question, search strategy and inclusion criteria. RESULTS: A hierarchy of the levels of evidence is reported in this paper Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria, and were evaluated according to the critical review form for quantitative studies developed at McMaster University Occupational Therapy Evidence-Based Practice Research Group. A quality score was also provided in addition to the important characteristics of the included studies. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS OF KEY FINDINGS: There appeared to be a paucity of scientific literature that documented the objective assessment of hypotonia in children. This review has thus identified the need for more studies with greater methodological rigour in order to determine best practice with respect to the methods used in the assessment of low muscle tone in the paediatric population.

Keywords : clinical assessment; hypotonia; low muscle tone; systematic review.

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