Effects of auricular acupuncture-like transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation on pain levels following wound care in patients with burns: A pilot study

Academic Article


  • This study was designed to test the hypothesis that auricular acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation would significantly reduce the pain experienced by patients with burns immediately after wound debridement, other wound care, and dressing changes. Subjects were 11 inpatients at the University of Alabama Hospital Burn Unit. A two-period crossover design was used, and each patient received one experimental treatment consisting of bilateral acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation to six ear points and one control treatment consisting of a placebo pill. The Visual Analogue Scale was used as a measure of pain and was completed immediately before and after treatments and at 15, 30, and 60 minutes after treatment. A two-factor repeated measures ANOVA indicated significant effects of measurement time (p < 0.001) and treatment by time (p = 0.002). Post hoc analysis revealed significant differences (p < 0.05) between experimental and control conditions at all times after treatment but not at pretreatment baseline. These results indicate that auricular acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may be an effective pain management technique in patients with burns. © 1990 The American Burn Association.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lewis SM; Clelland JA; Knowles CJ; Jackson JR; Dimick AR
  • Start Page

  • 322
  • End Page

  • 329
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 4