Use of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation to Alleviate Thirst After Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Hsiu Ling Yang, Fu Chao Liu, Pei Kwei Tsay, An Hsun Chou, Chih Chung Lin, Huang Ping Yu, Hui Chuan Jao, Hsueh Erh Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: This prospective study investigated the preventive effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for postoperative thirst.

DESIGN: This experimental study was conducted with the CONSORT checklist.

METHODS: A total of 105 surgical patients who received general anesthesia were recruited from a medical center. Each patient was randomly assigned to the experimental group (n = 53; 20 min of TENS) or the control group (n = 52; routine care). In each group, oral moisture wetness was measured at 1 min, 20 min, and 50 min post-surgery. Descriptive and inferential statistics (Chi-square test, t test, one-way ANOVA, and generalized estimating equation (GEE) regression analysis) were performed to assess the proposed relationships.

FINDINGS: The two groups showed similar characteristics at baseline. The oral moisture wetness was significantly higher in the experimental group than the control group at each post-surgery assessment time (all P < .001). The GEE results showed that patients in the experimental group reported more oral moisture wetness than patients in the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that TENS can reduce thirst reported by patients after general anesthesia. Thus, this method may have clinical applications for managing postoperative thirst.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perianesthesia Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 04 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.


  • TENS
  • cholecystectomy
  • general anesthesia
  • oral moisture wetness
  • postoperative thirst
  • Prospective Studies
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation/methods
  • Humans
  • Thirst


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