Treatment and re/habilitation of children with cerebral palsy in India: a scoping review
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
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© 2019 Mac Keith Press Aim: To describe the nature and extent of the literature addressing the medical and its re/habilitative management of cerebral palsy (CP) in India. Method: Online worldwide scholarly databases, research hosting directories, Indian publishing houses, and grey literature were used to identify papers published between 2005 and 2016. We retrieved 144 English language papers that described the medical and rehabilitative management of Indian children with CP. Results: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research designs are published by a variety of health care professionals in India. Intervention (45%) and observational studies (30%) predominate. Outcomes were categorized using the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework, with body structure and function most reported and activity/participation least reported; 57% described its re/habilitation interventions and 43% were medical interventions. Interpretation: There is a substantial body of CP research in India that focuses on interventions to reduce impairments, with minimal attention given to activities and participation, environmental, and personal factors. Twenty-six per cent of studies are published in what appear to be ‘predatory journals’. This paper serves as an alert about the presence of ‘predatory journals’ in medicine that may introduce publication bias, which can distort results reported in those studies individually, or from conclusions drawn in reviews that contain those studies. What this paper adds: Cerebral palsy research in India focuses on interventions to reduce impairment. Activities, participation, and environmental factors are minimally addressed. Quantitative studies are more common than qualitative studies. Many Indian studies are published in journals that are not indexed in worldwide databases of scholarly journals.