Electromagnetic therapy for the treatment of pressure sores.
ABSTRACT Electromagnetic therapy is used with the aim of improving the healing of chronic wounds such as pressure sores and venous leg ulcers
To assess the effectiveness of electromagnetic therapy in the treatment of pressure sores
The Cochrane Wounds Group search strategy was used (see Scope) to search for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of electromagnetic therapy for the treatment of pressure sores
Randomised controlled trials comparing electromagnetic therapy with sham electromagnetic therapy, or other (standard) treatment
Results of searches were scrutinised by one reviewer (and checked by a second) to identify possible RCTs and full reports of these were obtained. Details of eligible studies were extracted and summarised using a data extraction sheet. Attempts were made to obtain missing data by contacting authors. Data extraction was checked by a second reviewer.
A total of two eligible RCTs were identified for inclusion in this review. The first of these studies (Comorosan 1993) was a three armed study comparing electromagnetic therapy, electromagnetic therapy in combination with standard therapy, and standard therapy alone. The second study (Salzburg 1995) was a comparison between electromagnetic therapy and sham therapy on 30 male patients with a spinal cord injury and a grade two or grade three pressure sore. Neither study found a statistically significant difference between the healing rates of electromagnetic therapy treated and control group patients.
The results suggest no evidence of a benefit in using electromagnetic therapy to treat pressure sores. However the possibility of a beneficial or harmful effect cannot be ruled out due to the fact there were only two trials with methodological limitations and small numbers of patients.