Venous leg ulcer healing with electric stimulation therapy : a pilot randomised controlled trial Academic Article uri icon


  • Compression therapy is a gold standard treatment to promote venous leg ulcer (VLU) healing. Concordance with compression therapy is, however, often sub-optimal. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of electric stimulation therapy (EST) to facilitate healing of VLUs among people who do not use moderate-to-high levels of compression (>25 mmHg).A pilot multicentre, single-blinded randomised controlled trial was conducted. Participants were randomised (2:1) to the intervention group or a control group where EST or a sham device was used 4 times daily for 20 minutes per session. Participants were monitored fortnightly for eight weeks. The primary outcome measure was percentage of area (wound size) change.In the 23 patients recruited, an average redution in wound size of 23.15% (standard deviation [SD]: 61.23) was observed for the control group compared with 32.67 % (SD: 42.54) for the intervention. A moderate effect size favouring the intervention group was detected from univariate [F(1,18)=1.588, p=0.224, partial eta squared=0.081] and multivariate repeated measures [F(1,18)=2.053, p=0.169, partial eta squared=0.102] analyses.The pilot study was not powered to detect statistical significance, however, the difference in healing outcomes are encouraging. EST may be an effective adjunct treatment among patients who have experienced difficulty adhering to moderate-to-high levels of compression therapy.

publication date

  • 2017