Knowledge and use of Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) among Nigerian physical therapists

Awotidebe, Taofeek O. ; Adedoyin, Rufus A. ; Uwamagbe, Brain I. ; Onigbinde, Ayodele T. ; Sanusi, Segun (2012-09)

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Aims and objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the knowledge and the use of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) by Nigerian physical therapists. Methods: A cross sectional study design was carried out among Nigerian physical therapists. Eighty-six physical therapists participated in this study and data were collected using a structured and validated questionnaire. Copies of the questionnaires were distributed by hand and by mail (with self addressed envelopes) to various hospitals, clinics, universities that offer physical therapy services/programmes across Nigeria. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: Academic staff constituted 10.5% while 89.5% were clinicians. First degree holders constituted 61.6% while 38.4% had postgraduate degrees. Majority of physical therapists, 90.7% use TENS, 83% of those who use TENS are aware of the different types of TENS; 98.72% use TENS for 30 minutes or less, 48.7% use it for 15 minutes or less. The frequency commonly use is between 1–30 Hz and about 12.8% of those using this frequency believed that TENS relieves pain through the pre-synaptic inhibition, endogenous pain control, and direct inhibition of abnormally excited nerve and restoration of afferent input. Furthermore, 12.8% calibrated their TENS devices. Only 6.4% have published TENS related papers in the last five years while 29.5% have attended TENS related seminar in the past. Majority, 88.5% considered TENS to be cost effective. Conclusion: This study concluded that TENS is widely used among Nigerian physical therapists and tend to have adequate knowledge of TENS and its application in the management of pain

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