Dozens of effects on pain relief in women with primary dysmenorrhea: a systematic review and meta-analysis

2021/08/26

Abstract
Purpose: Primary dysmenorrhea (PD) is a chronic health condition that mainly affects young women and interferes with daily activities, leading to decreased work efficiency and quality of life. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a complementary and alternative therapy used to reduce pain associated with PD. The purpose of this meta-analysis study was to evaluate the effectiveness of TENS in treating pain in women with PD.

Methods: Search English literature in Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (EBSCO), Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), CINAHL (EBSCO), PUBMED, OVID, Science Direct, Scopus, Academic Search Complete database. Search terms: "primary dysmenorrhea", "pain", "transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation", "TENS" and "electrical stimulation". Everything from the creation of the database to April 2020 is included in the search.

Results: The initial search strategy based on date range and language produced 571 related records, 4 of which were related to TENS and PD. A total of 260 patients participated in the included studies. In all included studies, comparative interventions included sham TENS. The main result of interest is pain intensity. Our analysis showed that TENS was statistically more effective than sham TENS in reducing PD-related pain (SMD=1.384; 95% CI=0.505, 2.262; p = 0.002).

Conclusion: TENS is a safe and well-tolerated electrophysiotherapy, which can effectively relieve the pain of PD.

Keywords: meta-analysis; pain; primary dysmenorrhea; ten.

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