OBJECTIVE: To examine the effectiveness of electrophysical agents in fibromyalgia.
DATA SOURCES: CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Embase, Medline, PEDro, and Web of Science were searched from their inceptions to March 27, 2023.
METHODS: This study was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42022354326). Methodological quality of included trials was assessed using PEDro scale, and the quality of evidence was determined according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation system. The primary outcomes were pain, functional status, and mood.
RESULTS: Fifty-four studies involving 3045 patients with fibromyalgia were eligible for qualitative synthesis and 47 (pain), 31 (functional status), and 26 (mood) for network meta-analysis. The network consistency model revealed that, when compared with true control, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and microcurrent improved pain symptoms (P = 0.006 and P = 0.037, respectively); repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation improved patient functional status (P = 0.018); and microcurrent (P = 0.001), repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (P = 0.022), and no treatment (P = 0.038) significantly improved mood after intervention. Surface under the cumulative ranking indicated that microcurrent was most likely to be the best for managing pain and mood (surface under the cumulative ranking: 70% and 100%, respectively); low-level laser therapy for pain and mood (80% and 70%, respectively); and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for improving functional status and mood (80% and 70%, respectively).
CONCLUSION: This review found low to moderate quality evidence that microcurrent, laser therapy, and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation are the most effective electrophysical agents for improving at least one outcome in fibromyalgia.