To establish the current evidence base for the use of orthotics and taping for people with osteoporotic vertebral fracture (OVF).
Systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies.
Medline, Medline-In Process, EMBASE, AMED, CINAHL, PEDro, TRIP, EThOS, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses and Cochrane (CDSR, DARE, CMR, HTA, EED) plus Cochrane Central, UK Clinical Research Network portfolio, Controlled Clinical Trials register and the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials register.
Eligibility criteria for selecting studies
All study designs were considered if they reported in English and evaluated the impact of using an external support, such as a spinal brace, orthosis or postural tape, with adults with OVF. All outcomes were considered.
Nine studies were included comprising two parallel-group randomised controlled trials, four randomised cross-over trials, two before-after (single arm) studies and a parallel group observational study. No qualitative studies were identified. A wide range of outcomes assessing impairments, activities and participation were assessed but the findings were mixed. The quality of studies was limited.
The current evidence for using orthotic devices or taping for people with OVF is inconsistent and of limited quality and therefore careful consideration should be taken by clinicians before prescribing them in practice.