Effect of Direct Transcranial Current Stimulation on Pain Intensity of Burn Dressing

Document Type: Original Quantitative and Qualitative Research Paper


1 PhD candidate of Nursing, Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 MS in Nursing, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Assistant professor of General surgery, Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 PhD of Nursing, Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 PhD candidate in Cognitive Neurosciences, Faculty of Educative Sciences and Psychology, Tabriz University


Background: Pain is of stressful and unpleasant procedures after daily dressing of burn wound, so that if the burn pain is not alleviated properly, it can cause harmful effects other than discomfort. There is evidence that cathodal stimulation of somatosensory cortex can be effective in relieving acute pain.
Aim: The main purpose of this study was to determine the effect of Direct Transcranial Current Stimulation on the intensity of burn dressing pain.
Methods: To conduct this randomized two-group clinical trial , 60 eligible patients who had been hospitalized in burn department of Imam Reza (AS) hospital of Mashhad were enrolled through the convenience sampling and randomly divided into the control (n=30) and intervention (n=30) groups by stratification method. Patients in the intervention group received cathodal stimulation of somatosensory cortex for 20 minutes with one mA current intensity before dressing; while thetDCS device was turned off after 30 seconds of stimulation in the control group. The standard visual analog scale of pain was performed immediately before intervention, as well as before and after wound dressing.
Results: In the intervention group, 76.7% (n=23) of cases were male while in control group 46.7% (n=14) of patients were female. Mann-Whitney test showed no significant difference between the intervention (1.7±2.0) and control (1.0±0.9) groups in terms of pain intensity before intervention (P=0.46). Independent t-test showed that pain intensity in the intervention group (6.4±1.9) versus control (7.9±1.5) was significantly different after burn dressing (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Applying tDCS can be an effective intervention for decreasing pain associated with burn dressing.


Main Subjects

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