Twenty-two studies were included in the review: seven diagnostic studies (n=518); seven inter-examiner reliability studies (n=318); five muscle response to stimuli studies (n=at least 393); and three clinical effectiveness studies (n=115).
Diagnostic accuracy studies
QUADAS scores ranged from 1 to 11 (out of a maximum of 14). STARD scores ranged from 6 to 13 (out of a maximum of 25). Comparators included laboratory tests for food allergies, biochemical tests for nutrient status, chiropractic clinical observations and a mechanical muscle test. None of the studies found a positive effect of kinesiology.
Quality scores and scores for the quality of reporting (based on the same criteria) ranged from 0 to 5 (out of a possible 6). Studies compared the reliability of examiners to detect the presence of weak or strong muscles, sensitivity to dental materials or foods, pressure on specific vertebrae and to a phobic stimulus. The most promising results were for the detection of the presence of weak or strong muscles.
Quality scores and scores for the quality of reporting (based on the same criteria) ranged from 0 to 3 (out of a possible 6). These studies tested the presence of weak or strong muscles in relation to foods, a kinesiology technique, magnets and verbal statements. Three studies reported a positive result.
All the studies scored 0 on the Jadad scale (out of a maximum of 5). The number of CONSORT items reported ranged from 4 to 6 (out of a maximum of 22). Studies assessed the effectiveness of kinesiology for mastalgia, stress, and recurring dreams. All three studies reported statistically significant results in favour of kinesiology.