Document Type




Format of Original

6 p.

Publication Date



American Physical Therapy Association

Source Publication

Physical Therapy

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1093/ptj/68.4.503


The purpose of this study was to determine whether high voltage electrical stimulation accelerates the rate of healing of dermal ulcers. Sixteen patients with stage IV decubitus ulcers, ranging in age from 20 to 89 years, participated in the study. The patients were assigned randomly to either a Treatment Group (n = 9) or a Control Group (n = 7). Patients in the Treatment Group received daily electrical stimulation from a commercial high voltage generator. Patients in the Control Group had the electrodes applied daily but received no stimulation. The ulcers of patients in the Treatment Group healed at a mean rate of 44.8% a week and healed 100% over a mean period of 7.3 weeks. The ulcers of patients in the Control Group increased in area an average of 11.6% a week and increased 28.9% over a mean period of 7.4 weeks. The results of this study suggest that high voltage stimulation accelerates the healing rate of stage IV decubitus ulcers in human subjects.


Published version. Physical Therapy, Vol. 68, No. 4 (April 1988): 503-508. DOI. © 1988 American Physical Therapy Association. Used with permission.