Effects of acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on children with asthma.J Asthma. 2010 Dec; 47(10):1116-22.JA
To evaluate the effects of acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (AL-TENS) on children with asthma.
After an 8-week run-in period, the experimental group were assigned to treatment with AL-TENS, whereas the control group did not receive AL-TENS. A total of 43 children with asthma were recruited from a hospital and an elementary school. All the cases had been diagnosed as having asthma by physicians. The outcome measures included pulmonary function tests (PFTs), heart rate turbulence (HRT), heart rate variability (HRV), and pediatric asthma quality-of-life questionnaire (PAQLQ).
After 8 weeks of AL-TENS, there were no significant differences on forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV₁/FVC, and peak expiratory flows (PEFs) between the two groups. The HRT is the physiological, biphasic response of the sinus node to premature ventricular contractions. In the experimental group, the mean HRT was statistically significant between pretest and posttest. The HRV and the PAQLQ showed no difference, but in the experimental group, the subscale of the PAQLQ (particularly activity) improved significantly more than the pretest scores. Furthermore, there were no differences in PFTs and HRV after 8 weeks of AL-TENS between the two groups.
The PAQLQ activities of the experimental group improved significantly more than those of the control group. Reasons may include: 1) the asthma cases were stable and the cases were on stable status and 2) the degree of airway remodeling was less. It is suggested that in the future, treatment frequency and the long-term follow-up for evaluating the effects of AL-TENS on children with asthma should also be considered.