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Electrotherapy modalities for rotator cuff disease

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 1996
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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 (82nd percentile)

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Title
Electrotherapy modalities for rotator cuff disease
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 1996
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd012225
Pubmed ID
Authors

Page, Matthew J, Green, Sally, Mrocki, Marshall A, Surace, Stephen J, Deitch, Jessica, McBain, Brodwen, Lyttle, Nicolette, Buchbinder, Rachelle

Abstract

Management of rotator cuff disease may include use of electrotherapy modalities (also known as electrophysical agents), which aim to reduce pain and improve function via an increase in energy (electrical, sound, light, or thermal) into the body. Examples include therapeutic ultrasound, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF). These modalities are usually delivered as components of a physical therapy intervention. This review is one of a series of reviews that form an update of the Cochrane review, 'Physiotherapy interventions for shoulder pain'. To synthesise available evidence regarding the benefits and harms of electrotherapy modalities for the treatment of people with rotator cuff disease. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2015, Issue 3), Ovid MEDLINE (January 1966 to March 2015), Ovid EMBASE (January 1980 to March 2015), CINAHL Plus (EBSCOhost, January 1937 to March 2015), ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO ICTRP clinical trials registries up to March 2015, unrestricted by language, and reviewed the reference lists of review articles and retrieved trials, to identify potentially relevant trials. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-randomised trials, including adults with rotator cuff disease (e.g. subacromial impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tendinitis, calcific tendinitis), and comparing any electrotherapy modality with placebo, no intervention, a different electrotherapy modality or any other intervention (e.g. glucocorticoid injection). Trials investigating whether electrotherapy modalities were more effective than placebo or no treatment, or were an effective addition to another physical therapy intervention (e.g. manual therapy or exercise) were the main comparisons of interest. Main outcomes of interest were overall pain, function, pain on motion, patient-reported global assessment of treatment success, quality of life and the number of participants experiencing adverse events. Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, extracted the data, performed a risk of bias assessment and assessed the quality of the body of evidence for the main outcomes using the GRADE approach. We included 47 trials (2388 participants). Most trials (n = 43) included participants with rotator cuff disease without calcification (four trials included people with calcific tendinitis). Sixteen (34%) trials investigated the effect of an electrotherapy modality delivered in isolation. Only 23% were rated at low risk of allocation bias, and 49% were rated at low risk of both performance and detection bias (for self-reported outcomes). The trials were heterogeneous in terms of population, intervention and comparator, so none of the data could be combined in a meta-analysis.In one trial (61 participants; low quality evidence), pulsed therapeutic ultrasound (three to five times a week for six weeks) was compared with placebo (inactive ultrasound therapy) for calcific tendinitis. At six weeks, the mean reduction in overall pain with placebo was -6.3 points on a 52-point scale, and -14.9 points with ultrasound (MD -8.60 points, 95% CI -13.48 to -3.72 points; absolute risk difference 17%, 7% to 26% more). Mean improvement in function with placebo was 3.7 points on a 100-point scale, and 17.8 points with ultrasound (mean difference (MD) 14.10 points, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.39 to 22.81 points; absolute risk difference 14%, 5% to 23% more). Ninety-one per cent (29/32) of participants reported treatment success with ultrasound compared with 52% (15/29) of participants receiving placebo (risk ratio (RR) 1.75, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.53; absolute risk difference 39%, 18% to 60% more). Mean improvement in quality of life with placebo was 0.40 points on a 10-point scale, and 2.60 points with ultrasound (MD 2.20 points, 95% CI 0.91 points to 3.49 points; absolute risk difference 22%, 9% to 35% more). Between-group differences were not important at nine months. No participant reported adverse events.Therapeutic ultrasound produced no clinically important additional benefits when combined with other physical therapy interventions (eight clinically heterogeneous trials, low quality evidence). We are uncertain whether there are differences in patient-important outcomes between ultrasound and other active interventions (manual therapy, acupuncture, glucocorticoid injection, glucocorticoid injection plus oral tolmetin sodium, or exercise) because the quality of evidence is very low. Two placebo-controlled trials reported results favouring LLLT up to three weeks (low quality evidence), however combining LLLT with other physical therapy interventions produced few additional benefits (10 clinically heterogeneous trials, low quality evidence). We are uncertain whether transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is more or less effective than glucocorticoid injection with respect to pain, function, global treatment success and active range of motion because of the very low quality evidence from a single trial. In other single, small trials, no clinically important benefits of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF), microcurrent electrical stimulation (MENS), acetic acid iontophoresis and microwave diathermy were observed (low or very low quality evidence).No adverse events of therapeutic ultrasound, LLLT, TENS or microwave diathermy were reported by any participants. Adverse events were not measured in any trials investigating the effects of PEMF, MENS or acetic acid iontophoresis. Based on low quality evidence, therapeutic ultrasound may have short-term benefits over placebo in people with calcific tendinitis, and LLLT may have short-term benefits over placebo in people with rotator cuff disease. Further high quality placebo-controlled trials are needed to confirm these results. In contrast, based on low quality evidence, PEMF may not provide clinically relevant benefits over placebo, and therapeutic ultrasound, LLLT and PEMF may not provide additional benefits when combined with other physical therapy interventions. We are uncertain whether TENS is superior to placebo, and whether any electrotherapy modality provides benefits over other active interventions (e.g. glucocorticoid injection) because of the very low quality of the evidence. Practitioners should communicate the uncertainty of these effects and consider other approaches or combinations of treatment. Further trials of electrotherapy modalities for rotator cuff disease should be based upon a strong rationale and consideration of whether or not they would alter the conclusions of this review.

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Mendeley readers

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Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 2 1%
Unknown 184 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 54 29%
Student > Master 39 21%
Student > Doctoral Student 27 15%
Researcher 15 8%
Student > Postgraduate 14 8%
Other 37 20%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 74 40%
Nursing and Health Professions 68 37%
Unspecified 9 5%
Psychology 5 3%
Social Sciences 5 3%
Other 25 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 49. 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 01 September 2017.
All research outputs
#198,813
of 8,457,084 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#694
of 8,626 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#11,807
of 272,459 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#27
of 158 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,457,084 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 8,626 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 18.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% 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 272,459 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 158 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its contemporaries.