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Reporting of acute programme variables and exercise descriptors in rehabilitation strength training for tibiofemoral joint soft tissue injury: A systematic review
Strength training acute programme variables (APVs) can impact tibiofemoral joint injury outcomes. Exercise descriptors (EDs; e.g. patient-position) specify configurations within which APVs are applied. Evidence-based practice depends on adequate reporting of APVs and EDs to replicate strength training interventions in clinical practice. This systematic review assessed APV and ED reporting for adults with tibiofemoral joint injury (anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)/posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)/medial collateral ligament (MCL)/lateral collateral ligament (LCL)/meniscus/hyaline cartilage (HC)).
PRISMA guidelines were followed. Specific key-term combinations were employed and database searches performed. Descriptive/observational/experimental studies were included (2006–2018). Studies needed to report pre-defined APVs or EDs for ≥51% of all exercises to be included. Frequency counts were made of studies adequately reporting APVs and EDs.
Sixteen articles were included (ACL = 13; meniscus = 3). No PCL/MCL/LCL/HC articles were identified. Of nine APVs, five and four were consistently reported by the majority of ACL (≥7) and meniscal (≥2) studies, respectively. Of eight EDs, four were consistently reported by the majority of both ACL (≥8) and meniscal (≥2) studies.
Many APVs and EDs were not adequately reported. Future studies should better document APVs and EDs for higher standards of intervention reporting and enhanced translation of research to clinical practice.