Journal Article
Systematic Review
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Electromagnetic therapy for the treatment of pressure sores.

BACKGROUND: Electromagnetic therapy is used with the aim of improving the healing of chronic wounds such as pressure sores and venous leg ulcers

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of electromagnetic therapy in the treatment of pressure sores

SEARCH STRATEGY: 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

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials comparing electromagnetic therapy with sham electromagnetic therapy, or other (standard) treatment

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: 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.

MAIN RESULTS: 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.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: 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.

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