Electromagnetic therapy for treating venous leg ulcers

Aziz, Zoriah and Cullum, Nicky (2015) Electromagnetic therapy for treating venous leg ulcers. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 7: Art No: CD002933-Art No: CD002933. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002933.pub6

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Author Aziz, Zoriah
Cullum, Nicky
Title Electromagnetic therapy for treating venous leg ulcers
Journal name Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-493X
Publication date 2015-07
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/14651858.CD002933.pub6
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Issue 7
Start page Art No: CD002933
End page Art No: CD002933
Total pages 31
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley and Sons
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background
Leg ulceration is a common, chronic, recurring condition. The estimated prevalence of leg ulcers in the UK population is 1.5 to 3 per 1000. Venous ulcers (also called stasis or varicose ulcers) comprise 80% to 85% of all leg ulcers. Electromagnetic therapy (EMT) is sometimes used as a treatment to assist the healing of chronic wounds such as venous leg ulcers.

Objectives
To assess the effects of EMT on the healing of venous leg ulcers.

Search methods
For this fourth update, we searched The Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (searched 30 January 2015); The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2014, Issue 12).

Selection criteria
Randomised controlled trials comparing EMT with sham-EMT or other treatments.

Data collection and analysis
Standard Cochrane Collaboration methods were employed. At least two review authors independently scrutinised search results and obtained full reports of potentially eligible studies for further assessment. We extracted and summarised details of eligible studies using a data extraction sheet, and made attempts to obtain missing data by contacting study authors. A second review author checked data extraction, and we resolved disagreements after discussion between review authors.

Main results
Three randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of low or unclear risk of bias, involving 94 people, were included in the original review; subsequent updates have identified no new trials. All the trials compared the use of EMT with sham-EMT. Meta-analysis of these trials was not possible due to heterogeneity. In the two trials that reported healing rates; one small trial (44 participants) reported that significantly more ulcers healed in the EMT group than the sham-EMT group however this result was not robust to different assumptions about the outcomes of participants who were lost to follow up. The second trial that reported numbers of ulcers healed found no significant difference in healing. The third trial was also small (31 participants) and reported significantly greater reductions in ulcer size in the EMT group however this result may have been influenced by differences in the prognostic profiles of the treatment groups.

Authors' conclusions
It is not clear whether electromagnetic therapy influences the rate of healing of venous leg ulcers. Further research would be needed to answer this question.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 25 Sep 2015, 12:57:41 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work