Clinical effectiveness of non-surgical interventions for primary frozen shoulder: A systematic review

Catherine Minns Lowe, Eva Barratt, Karen McCreesh, Neasa De Burca, Jeremy Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
112 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: To update an existing systematic review of randomized clinical trials evaluating the clinical effectiveness of non-surgical management interventions for people with primary frozen shoulder in terms of pain, movement, self-reported function and disability, quality of life, recovery time, return to work and recreation, and adverse events. Data sources: Cochrane CENTRAL, SCI and MEDLINE, CENTRAL between 1 January 2010 and June 2017, plus reference lists of included trials and trial registers. Abstracts were independently screened by 2 reviewers and discussed. Data extraction: Two reviewers evaluated eligibility. Data were extracted by one reviewer and checked by another. Two reviewers evaluated risk of bias. Meta-analyses were not appropriate. Narrative analyses were performed for trials evaluated as low risk of bias. Results: Thirty trials were included, with the majority of studies evaluated as being at high risk of potential bias. Only 4 trials were evaluated as being at low risk of bias and this, plus the variety of participants included/excluded in trials and the variety of methods, interventions and outcomes used across the trials provided limited new evidence to inform the non-surgical management and treatment of people with frozen shoulder. Conclusion: Substantial evidence gaps remain for the non-surgical treatment of people with frozen shoulder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-556
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number8
Early online date24 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2019


  • Frozen shoulder
  • Idiopathic
  • Non-surgical treatment
  • Primary
  • Systematic review


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