Purpose: We reviewed research on the effect of adaptive seating on sitting posture/postural control in children with cerebral palsy. Second, we examined whether changes in postural control related to changes in other aspects of functioning.
Methods: Electronic database/hand searches were undertaken to locate studies published in English. Reviewers screened studies for inclusion criteria, extracted data, indexed outcomes to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, assigned levels of evidence, and assessed study quality.
Results: Thirteen of 14 articles used group designs and the other a single-subject design. Conflicting findings were reported for saddle seats and optimal seat/back angle for improving sitting posture/postural control. Significant improvements were reported with seat inserts, external supports, and modular seating systems. Evidence supporting effects of postural control on functional abilities was limited.
Conclusions: Future studies on the effects of adaptive seating should describe participants with standardized classification systems and employ stronger research designs.