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Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for acute pain

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2015
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (95th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (86th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
1 news outlet
blogs
2 blogs
twitter
14 tweeters

Citations

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38 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
312 Mendeley
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Title
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for acute pain
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd006142.pub3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Mark I Johnson, Carole A Paley, Tracey E Howe, Kathleen A Sluka

Abstract

This is a second update of a Cochrane Review originally published in Issue 2, 2009. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a non-pharmacological agent, based on delivering low voltage electrical currents to the skin. TENS is used by people to treat a variety of pain conditions. To assess the analgesic effectiveness of TENS, as a sole treatment, for acute pain in adults. We searched the following databases up to 3 December 2014: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), in the Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; CINAHL; and AMED. We also checked the reference lists of included trials. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of adults with acute pain (< 12 weeks) if they examined TENS given as a sole treatment and assessed pain with subjective pain scales. Trials were eligible if they compared TENS to placebo TENS, no treatment controls, pharmacological interventions or non-pharmacological interventions. We excluded trials on experimental pain, case reports, clinical observations, letters, abstracts or reviews. Also we excluded trials investigating the effect of TENS on pain during childbirth (labour), primary dysmenorrhoea or dental procedures. Studies where TENS was given with another treatment as part of the formal trial design were excluded. We did not restrict any articles based on language of publication. Two review authors independently assessed study eligibility and carried out study selection, data extraction, 'Risk of bias' assessment and analyses of data. We extracted data on the following: types of participants and pain condition, trial design and methods, treatment parameters, adverse effects, and outcome measures. We contacted trial authors for additional information if necessary. We included 12 trials in the original review (2009) and included no further trials in the first update (2011). An additional seven new trials met the inclusion criteria in this second update. In total, we included 19 RCTs involving 1346 participants at entry, with 11 trials awaiting classification either because the full text was unavailable or information in the full text failed to clarify eligibility. We excluded most trials because TENS was given in combination with another treatment as part of the formal study design or TENS was not delivered using appropriate TENS technique. The types of acute pain included in this Cochrane Review were procedural pain, e.g. cervical laser treatment, venepuncture, screening flexible sigmoidoscopy and non-procedural pain, e.g. postpartum uterine contractions and rib fractures. We pooled data for pain intensity for six trials (seven comparisons) comparing TENS with placebo but the I(2) statistic suggested substantial heterogeneity. Mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) on a visual analogue scale (VAS, 100 mm) was -24.62 mm (95% CI -31.79 to -17.46) in favour of TENS. Data for the proportion of participants achieving ≥ 50% reduction in pain was pooled for four trials (seven comparisons) and relative risk was 3.91 (95% CI 2.42 to 6.32) in favour of TENS over placebo. We pooled data for pain intensity from five trials (seven comparisons) but the I(2) statistic suggested considerable heterogeneity. MD was -19.05 mm (95% CI -27.30 to -10.79) in favour of TENS using a random-effects model. It was not possible to pool other data. There was a high risk of bias associated with inadequate sample sizes in treatment arms and unsuccessful blinding of treatment interventions. Seven trials reported minor adverse effects, such as mild erythema and itching underneath the electrodes and participants disliking TENS sensation. This Cochrane Review update includes seven new trials, in addition to the 12 trials reviewed in the first update in 2011. The analysis provides tentative evidence that TENS reduces pain intensity over and above that seen with placebo (no current) TENS when administered as a stand-alone treatment for acute pain in adults. The high risk of bias associated with inadequate sample sizes in treatment arms and unsuccessful blinding of treatment interventions makes definitive conclusions impossible. There was incomplete reporting of treatment in many reports making replication of trials impossible.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 14 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 312 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 2 <1%
Italy 1 <1%
France 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Denmark 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Unknown 305 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 70 22%
Student > Bachelor 47 15%
Unspecified 37 12%
Other 29 9%
Student > Postgraduate 27 9%
Other 101 32%
Unknown 1 <1%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 145 46%
Unspecified 50 16%
Nursing and Health Professions 50 16%
Psychology 13 4%
Neuroscience 10 3%
Other 43 14%
Unknown 1 <1%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 36. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 31 October 2017.
All research outputs
#410,976
of 12,527,219 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#1,288
of 8,923 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#10,174
of 233,389 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#33
of 241 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,527,219 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 8,923 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 233,389 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 241 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its contemporaries.