Assisted standing for DMD

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common X-linked neuromuscular disorder. When boys with DMD reach the second decade of life, they lose their ability to walk and become wheelchair dependent. Standing devices and orthoses are considered to be an essential component in the therapy management of DMD. Clinical opinion and research from other neurological conditions highlight the proposed benefits of standing device use, however, its effect within this population is currently unknown. A review of the evidence for the use of standing devices and orthoses is necessary to inform all stakeholders, including people with DMD, clinicians, decision makers and funders, and to guide future research.

The objective of this study was to assess the effects of standing devices and orthoses on musculoskeletal impairments (such as pain, contracture, scoliosis development and bone density) in boys and men with DMD, and secondarily to determine their effect on quality of life, participation in activities, and patient experience (satisfaction). The authors also considered any adverse events associated with their use.

They searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Specialised Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, AMED, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus, PEDro, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global up to 5 September 2019. We checked references in identified trials, handsearched journal abstracts, and searched trials registries. They planned to include randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs of any model of standing device for use in DMD. The control interventions would have been any other comparison group, including no standing device, a different model of standing device, usual care, or an alternative form of assistive weight bearing. To collect data and for analysis, the researchers used standard Cochrane methodological procedures. Although they identified 13 potentially relevant studies, none met the inclusion criteria for this review.

Since there were no RCTs or quasi-RCTs available to evaluate the effectiveness of standing devices in people with DMD, studies are needed to investigate the effectiveness of standing devices in this population.


Assisted standing for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Pedlow K, McDonough S, Lennon S, Kerr C, Bradbury I. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Oct 13;10:CD011550. [Epub ahead of print]