Effectiveness of combined modulated ultrasound and electric current stimulation to treat diabetic foot ulcers

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Hearne, Caoimhe L Joyce
Patton, Declan
Moore, Zena E
Wilson, Pauline
Gillen, Corey
O'Connor, Tom
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Objective: The use of combined ultrasound and electrostimulation (CUSECS) as an adjunct therapy for diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) is a relatively new concept. This study aimed to investigate if combined ultrasound and electrostimulation is an effective adjunctive treatment for hard-To-heal DFUs when compared with standard wound care. Methods: A randomised controlled pilot study design was used. Patients with hard-To-heal DFUs from two centres were sequentially randomised. For 8 weeks, the experimental group received CUSECS and standard wound care treatment twice a week. The control group received standard wound care treatment once a week. Wound changes were documented using photography, which also facilitated wound size measurement. Self-efficacy, economic cost, quality of life and reoccurrence rates were analysed as secondary objectives. Results: The experimental group (n=6) achieved a higher rate of mean wound healing (mean difference (MD): 0.49) when compared to the control group (n=5, MD: 0.01). Two participants completed full healing in the experimental group and one in the control group. There were no statistically significant findings because of the small sample size. There were no direct adverse reactions to this therapy. Quality of life scores improved in the treatment group. There was no significant change in self-efficacy scores. Costs were higher in the experimental group; however, the healing rate was quicker, which could be extrapolated to cost reductions over time. Conclusion: Results suggest that CUSECS may be a useful adjunctive therapy for treatment of hard-To-heal DFUs. Further large-scale studies are needed to ascertain the effectiveness of CUSECS. The findings here are inconclusive but indicate that CUSECS may offer promise as a treatment. Declaration of interest: The authors have no conflict of interest to declare. The treatment device used in this study was supplied on loan by Jagmed Ltd.

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Journal of Wound Care
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Clinical sciences
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
adjunctive therapy
chronic wound
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Hearne, CLJ; Patton, D; Moore, ZE; Wilson, P; Gillen, C; O'Connor, T, Effectiveness of combined modulated ultrasound and electric current stimulation to treat diabetic foot ulcers, Journal of Wound Care, 2022, 31 (1), pp. 12-20