Table 14.1 Functional Electrical Stimulation Systematic Reviews

Author Year


Total Sample Size

Methods Outcome


Patil et al.,



Review of published articles between September 2009-September 2014

N= 5


Method: Comprehensive literature search of full-length, peer reviewed studies of patients with complete or incomplete cervical SCI, investigating functional electrical stimulation (FES) (possibly comparing to other conventional therapies) in adult and human studies.

Databases: EMBASE, PsycInfo, PubMed and Food, Science and Technology abstracts.

Level of evidence:  Jovell and Navarro-Rubio classification: Good (I-II): Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), Large-sample RCTs; Good-to-fair (III-V): Small-sample RCTS, non-randomized controlled prospective trials, non-randomized controlled retrospective trials; Fair (VI-VII): cohort studies, case-control studies; Poor (VIII-IX): non-controlled clinical series; descriptive studies, anecdotes or case reports.


Examine the evidence for FES on motor control and functional ability of the upper limb in spinal cord injured people.

1.     Two studies were scored a III, one study scored a VI, and two studies scored VIII.

2.     In total, there were 10 different outcome measures between the five included studies assessing functional outcomes and motor control.

3.     All 5 studies reported improvement, both immediate and follow-up, in motor control and functional ability of upper extremity as result of FES or FES with conventional therapy.