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Effect of adding interferential current stimulation to exercise on outcomes in primary care patients with chronic neck pain: a randomized controlled trial [with consumer summary]
Albornoz-Cabello M, Perez-Marmol JM, Barrios Quinta CJ, Mataran-Penarrocha GA, Castro-Sanchez AM, de la Cruz Olivares B
Clinical Rehabilitation 2019 Sep;33(9):1458-1467
clinical trial
8/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: Yes; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of adding interferential current stimulation to exercise on pain, disability, psychological status and range of motion in patients with neck pain. DESIGN: A single-blinded randomized controlled trial. SETTING: Primary care physiotherapy units. SUBJECTS: A total of 84 patients diagnosed with non-specific mechanical neck pain. This sample was divided into two groups randomly: experimental (n = 42) versus control group (n = 42). INTERVENTIONS: Patients in both groups had a supervised therapeutic exercise programme, with the experimental group having additional interferential current stimulation treatment. MAIN MEASURES: The main measures used were intensity of neck pain according to the Visual Analogue Scale; the degree of disability according to the Neck Disability Index and the CORE Outcome Measure; anxiety and depression levels according to the Goldberg scale; apprehension as measured by the Personal Psychological Apprehension scale; and the range of motion of the cervical spine. The sample was evaluated at baseline and posttreatment (10 sessions/two weeks). RESULTS: Statistically significant differences between groups at posttreatment were observed for Visual Analogue Scale (2.73 +/- 1.24 versus 4.99 +/- 1.56), Neck Disability Index scores (10.60 +/- 4.77 versus 18.45 +/- 9.04), CORE Outcome Measure scores (19.18 +/- 9.99 versus 35.12 +/- 13.36), Goldberg total score (6.17 +/- 4.27 versus 7.90 +/- 4.87), Goldberg Anxiety subscale, Personal Psychological Apprehension Scale scores (28.17 +/- 9.61 versus 26.29 +/- 11.14) and active and passive right rotation. CONCLUSIONS: Adding interferential current stimulation to exercise resulted in better immediate outcome across a range of measures.

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