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Surface electromyography in manual therapy – categorization of purpose and quality of reporting: a systematic review protocol

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Manual therapy (MT) is widely used by several healthcare professionals to treat musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), still, there is little evidence to support its choice as a therapeutic approach to these kinds of problems. Researchers have been using surface electromyography (sEMG) to understand the effects and efficiency of MT. This study aims to present a protocol to evaluate the current literature using sEMG to assess muscle parameters within the scope of the use of MT.

Methods and Analysis

The search will be performed in 26 electronic databases and journals using the PRISMA Statement. Selection of the studies, data extraction and validation will be performed independently by two reviewers. These studies shall be categorized towards their aims to capture what the authors have an interest in. The overall quality will be assessed using Jadad Scale, and the quality of the reporting of EMG data will be assessed using the ISEK standards. This review is oriented toward identifying the failure to report methods in the studies selected, which directly affect their reproducibility.


A total of 222 osteopaths participated in the study, 143 were male (64%), aging between 30 and 39 years (42%), mainly working in Outcomes of this review will be published in a peer-review journal. It may encourage future authors in this area of study to avoid failing to report all the relevant data in their studies.