International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care

General Essays

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): A Technology Assessment

Janis Reevea1, Devidas Menona1 and Paula Corabiana2

a1 Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment (CCOHTA)

a2 University of Alberta Hospitals


The scientific evidence for clinical effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for treatment of acute, chronic, and labor and delivery pain is assessed in this paper, and it is concluded that there is little evidence for other than a limited use of TENS. The utilization of TENS in Canadian hospitals and payments for TENS services are addressed. Some practicalities regarding the use and assessment of health technologies are discussed.