Resolving chronic wound pain using low intensity laser therapy (LILT): a proof of concept study

Leila Karimi, Charne N Miller, Lisa Donohue, Russell John Nunn, William McGuiness, Tina HE Czech, Carolyn Arnold, Janine F Sunderland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Abstract Objective: A proof of concept study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of using low intensity laser therapy (LILT) to manage chronic leg wound pain. Background: There is a paucity of studies on the safe and efficacious application of LILT to resolve chronic wound pain. This study was conducted to address the lack of rigorous evidence regarding the efficacy of LILT to resolve chronic leg wound pain in the home health care setting. Method: Using a randomised controlled trial (RCT) design, study participants were randomised into three groups: control, Polylaser Trion? Laser (hand-held laser) and Photonic 500 Acumed? Laser (scanning laser). Fifty-seven participants were monitored for 12 weeks, including six weeks of LILT treatment for the intervention groups upon recruitment to the study. The primary outcome measure was the reduction of pain assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI ? short form). Results: No significant differences were found between the treatment groups. Small to moderate effect sizes for pain reduction favoured the hand held laser group compared to the control and scanning laser groups in the initial 2 and 6 weeks. Conclusion: This proof of concept study provides evidence for the safe use of LILT technology by nurses in a clinic setting. Recommendations for further investigations to aid preparation for large clinical trials are provided with specific reference to the use of LILT by home health care services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159 - 164
Number of pages6
JournalWound Practice & Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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