3.1 NICE did a rapid review of the published literature on the efficacy and safety of this procedure. This comprised a comprehensive literature search and detailed review of the evidence from 12 sources, which was discussed by the committee. The evidence included 6 systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses, and 6 randomised controlled trials. It is presented in table 2 of the interventional procedures overview. Other relevant literature is in the appendix of the overview.
3.2 The professional experts and the committee considered the key efficacy outcomes to be: quality of life, mood, muscle strength and function, and social functioning.
3.3 The professional experts and the committee considered the key safety outcomes to be: muscle pain or discomfort, and skin reactions to electrodes.
3.4 Patient commentary was sought but none was received.
3.5 The committee noted that the procedure may be contraindicated in patients who have an electronic implant (such as a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator).
3.6 The committee noted that there was only limited evidence that the procedure produced an additional benefit in patients who had successfully undertaken a physical rehabilitation programme.
3.7 The committee noted that electrical stimulation may be used in conjunction with physical exercise, but it should not be used as an alternative to a formal exercise programme if this is possible.