Postoperative pain: acupuncture versus percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of traditional acupuncture compared with acupuncture with percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) on postoperative surgical pain relief in gynecologic oncology patients. Twenty postoperative gynecologic oncology patients were randomly assigned into the two groups, and the intervention was initiated within 24 hours after surgery. The patients in each group received four treatments in the subsequent 48 hours, with 12 hours between each treatment. Either traditional acupuncture needles or acupuncture needles with a pulsed electric current were applied to stimulate the area of points Sp6 and Sp8 near the saphenous nerve. Pain measurement instruments included a visual analog scale and the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Although the PENS treatment group demonstrated a consistent decrease in pain with each treatment application compared with the traditional acupuncture group, after 48 hours both groups experienced equivalent pain relief. Copyright © 2012 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.