BACKGROUND: Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a method utilizing vibrating platforms to expose individuals to mechanical vibration. In its various applications, it has been linked to improved muscular, skeletal, metabolic, or cognitive functioning, quality of life, and physiological parameters such as blood pressure. Most evidence concerning WBV is inconclusive and meta-analytical reviews may not readily produce insights since the research has a risk of misunderstandings of vibration parameters and incomplete reporting occurs. This study aims at laying an empirical foundation for reporting guidelines for human WBV studies to improve the quality of reporting and the currently limited comparability between studies.
METHOD: The Delphi methodology is employed to exploit the integrated knowledge of WBV experts to distil the specific aspects of WBV methodology that should be included in such guidelines. Over three rounds of completing online questionnaires, the expert panel (round 1/2/3: 51/40/37 experts respectively from 17 countries with an average of 19.4 years of WBV research experience) rated candidate items.
RESULTS: A 40-item list was established based on the ratings of the individual items from the expert panel with a large final consensus (94.6%).
CONCLUSION: The final consensus indicates comprehensiveness and valuableness of the list. The results are in line with previous guidelines but expand these extensively. The present results may therefore serve as a foundation for updated guidelines for reporting human WBV studies in order to improve the quality of reporting of WBV studies, improve comparability of studies and facilitate the development of WBV study designs.