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Effect of a combined continuous and intermittent transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on pain perception of burn patients evaluated by visual analog scale: a pilot study

Authors Pérez-Ruvalcaba I, Sánchez-Hernández V, Mercado-Sesma A

Received 28 August 2015

Accepted for publication 27 October 2015

Published 15 December 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 119—122

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/LRA.S95329

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Stefan Wirz


Irma Pérez-Ruvalcaba,1 Viridiana Sánchez-Hernández,1 Arieh R Mercado-Sesma2,3

1Burn Unit, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico Nacional de Occidente, Mexican Institute of Social Security, 2Health Sciences Department, Centro Universitario de Tonalá, University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico; 3Diabetes sin Complicaciones, Zapopan, Mexico

Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of continuous and intermittent electrical transcutaneous nerve stimulation on the perception of pain in patients with burns of different types.
Materials and methods: A pilot study was conducted in 14 patients (age 30.9±7.5 years) with second- and third-degree burns of different types. The burn types included electrical, fire/flame, and chemical. All patients received continuous and intermittent electrical transcutaneous nerve stimulation sessions three times per week for 4 weeks. Each session had a duration of 30 minutes. A pair of electrodes were placed around the burn. The primary efficacy endpoint was the perception of pain assessed by a visual analog scale at baseline and at the 30th day.
Results: A significant reduction of pain perception was reported (8.0±1.7 vs 1.0±0.5; P=0.027) by all patients after electrical stimulation therapy. There were no reports of adverse events during the intervention period.
Conclusion: Electrical stimulation could be a potential nonpharmacological therapeutic option for pain management in burn patients.

Keywords: TENS, burn pain, pain management, electrotherapy

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