Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not the use of TENS is safe and effective in preventing and treating PHN.
STUDY DESIGN: Two randomized controlled trials and one retrospective observational study that were published in peer-reviewed journals after 2006 in the English language were reviewed.
DATA SOURCES: Studies were found in the PubMed database and selected based on relevance to the research question and whether they evaluated patient oriented outcomes.
OUTCOMES MEASURED: Prevention of PHN, determined by absence or presence of symptoms, and reduction of pain due to PHN, using a visual analog scale (VAS).
RESULTS: In the first RCT, Barbarisi et al showed that TENS therapy along with pregabalin caused a statistically significant reduction in pain (p < 0.02) compared to pregabalin plus placebo device. Stepanovic et al studied the use of TENS in preventing PHN and found that it was significantly better than antiviral treatment (p = 0.001). In the retrospective observational study by Kolsek, 0% of patients treated with TENS therapy during acute HZ developed PHN, compared to 28.6% of patients treated with antivirals.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of TENS is both safe and effective in preventing and treating postherpetic neuralgia.
Suzenski, Danielle, "Is the use of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Both Safe and Effective in Preventing and Treating Postherpetic Neuralgia?" (2018). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 310.