Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is an effective therapy in reducing pain and ulcer size in diabetic patients with foot ulcers.
STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review of three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from peer reviewed journals, published in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
DATA SOURCES: The studies compare the effectiveness of LLLT versus conventional wound treatment in reducing pain and ulcer size in diabetic patients with foot ulcers. All studies were found using PubMed and CINAHL Plus.
OUTCOMES MEASURED: Pain as perceived by the patient, measured by visual analog for pain scale or by brief pain inventory questionnaire prior to treatment and following treatment. Ulcer size was measured by researchers in square centimeters (cm2 ) or square millimeters (mm2 ).
RESULTS: Two of the randomized control trials suggested that the use of LLLT was significant in pain reduction of foot ulcers in diabetic foot patients. All three randomized control trials suggested that LLLT was statistically significant in the reduction ulcer size compared to conventional ulcer treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: All three studies showed that there was a decrease in ulcer size and two studies showed that there was a reduction in pain when using LLLT to treat patients with diabetic foot ulcers, proving that it is an effective treatment option. However, further studies with larger sample sizes that examine LLLT with uniform modalities and methods of application will be needed to reinforce the conclusion that Low-Level Laser Therapy is an effective and reliable therapeutic option in treating diabetic patients with foot ulcers.
Elmer, Corey J., "Is Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Effective in Reducing Pain and Ulcer Size in Diabetic Patients with Foot Ulcers?" (2019). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 463.