Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Effects of Interferential Electrical Stimulation Plus Pelvic Floor Muscles Exercises on Functional Constipation in Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

OBJECTIVES: Functional constipation is a common condition in children. We assessed the effectiveness of combined interferential (IF) electrical stimulation and pelvic floor muscle (PFM) exercises on functional constipation in children.

METHODS: We conducted a single-center, double-blind randomized clinical trial study during 2014-2017 in Tehran, Iran. Ninety children, aged 5-13 years, who fulfilled Rome III criteria were enrolled and randomly assigned into two treatment groups. Case group (n=45) underwent IF electrical stimulation and PFM exercises, whereas the control group (n=45) received PFM exercises plus sham stimulation. A complete bowel habit diary (with concerning data on the frequency of defecation per week, stool form, and the number of fecal soiling episodes), a constipation score questionnaire, and a visual pain score were recorded before, after the treatment and 6 months later for all participants. In addition, children in both groups were assessed with a constipation-related quality-of-life questionnaire before, after the end of treatment sessions, and 6 months after the treatment.

RESULTS: Treatment success was achieved for 88.4% of children in the case group compared with 43.2% of children in the control group after the treatment (P<0.003). The median constipation score was reduced in both groups, with the cases having significantly lower scores after the treatment (4 vs. 8, P<0.000). Stool form normalized in 75.6% of the cases and 45.5% of the controls after the treatment (P<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed that using IF electrical stimulation as an adjuvant therapy to the medical and rehabilitation programs significantly boosts the effects of treatment among these patients.

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