Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 395–406 | Cite as

Whole-body vibration in children with disabilities demonstrates therapeutic potentials for pediatric cancer populations: a systematic review

  • Vanessa RustlerEmail author
  • Julia Däggelmann
  • Fiona Streckmann
  • Wilhelm Bloch
  • Freerk T. Baumann
Review Article



Low levels of physical activity often observed in pediatric oncology might be attributed to various functional deficits, especially those of the lower limbs as these affect gait, mobility, and, consequently, physical activity. In the past few years, whole-body vibration (WBV) has emerged as a new therapy modality for improving physical functioning. Although WBV is increasingly applied in children with disabilities, its impact on lower limb function in pediatric cancer patients and survivors has not yet been investigated.


To establish whether there is evidence that WBV may be beneficial for pediatric cancer patients and survivors, this review summarizes current data on WBV studies among children with disabilities and extracts relevant information for the pediatric cancer population. Two independent reviewers performed a systematic literature search following the PRISMA guidelines.


Nine studies were included in the analysis. Results demonstrate that WBV is a safe, highly compliant, and effective approach in cohorts of children with disabilities. The largest effects of WBV were observed in lower extremity muscle mass and strength, balance control, gait, and walking ability. Furthermore, we were able to develop first recommendations for WBV protocols.


WBV seems to be feasible and effective for improving parameters that may be relevant to the pediatric cancer population. Efforts are needed to conduct first WBV interventions in children with cancer proving the effects. The developed recommendations for WBV protocols might help to implement these intervention studies.


WBV Vibration Children with disabilities Pediatric cancer Pediatric oncology 



The authors would like to thank Moritz Schumann for his help in proofreading and editing the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Moreover, the authors have no final relationships to declare. The authors allow the journal to review the used data if required.

Supplementary material

520_2018_4506_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 21.8 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Cardiovascular Research and Sports Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Sports MedicineGerman Sport University CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Department of Sport, Exercise and HealthUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department 1 of Internal Medicine, Center for Integrated Oncology Cologne/BonnUniversity Hospital CologneCologneGermany

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