Skip to main content

Usability and Clinical Evaluation of a Wearable TENS Device for Pain Management in Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2023 (INTERACT 2023)


An evaluation of the usability and clinical benefits of a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) device offered as an adjunct to standard care for thirty patients with Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee was carried out. A four-stage approach was adopted for this evaluation using a mix of surveys, semi-structured interviews, user diaries, and patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) collected over a three-month period. The findings of the study demonstrate that a combined approach generates a richer picture of patient experience while using a TENS device to manage pain at home. The study also points to how such an approach, that captures insights into the user’s experience alongside PROMS can explain the differences between patients who adopt and benefit from these devices and those who do not.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


  1. Sharma, L.: Osteoarthritis of the knee. N. Engl. J. Med. 384(1), 51–59 (2021)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  2. Cui, A., Li, H., Wang, D., Zhong, J., Chen, Y., Lu, H.: Global, regional prevalence, incidence and risk factors of knee osteoarthritis in population-based studies. EClinicalMedicine. 1(29), 100587 (2020)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Rosemann, T., Grol, R., Herman, K., Wensing, M., Szecsenyi, J.: Association between obesity, quality of life, physical activity and health service utilization in primary care patients with osteoarthritis. Int. J. Behav. Nutr. Phys. Act. 5(1), 1–8 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Lützner, J., Kasten, P., Günther, K.P., Kirschner, S.: Surgical options for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Nat. Rev. Rheumatol. 5(6), 309–316 (2009)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Price, A.J., et al.: Knee replacement. The Lancet. 392(10158), 1672–1682 (2018)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Scott, C.H., MacDonald, D.J., Howie, C.R.: ‘Worse than death’ and waiting for a joint arthroplasty. Bone Joint J. 101(8), 941–950 (2019)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Clement, N.D., Scott, C.E., Murray, J.R., Howie, C.R., Deehan, D.J.: IMPACT-Restart Collaboration. The number of patients “worse than death” while waiting for a hip or knee arthroplasty has nearly doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic: A UK nationwide survey. Bone Joint J. 103(4), 672–80 (2021)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Johnson, M.I.: Resolving long-standing uncertainty about the clinical efficacy of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to relieve pain: a comprehensive review of factors influencing outcome. Medicina 57(4), 378 (2021)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Sluka, K.A., Walsh, D.: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: basic science mechanisms and clinical effectiveness. J. Pain 4(3), 109–121 (2003)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Zhang, W., et al.: OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthr. Cartil. 16(2), 137–162 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Jamtvedt, G., et al.: Physical therapy interventions for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: an overview of systematic reviews. Phys. Ther. 88(1), 123–136 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Bjordal, J.M., Johnson, M.I., Ljunggreen, A.E.: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can reduce postoperative analgesic consumption. A meta-analysis with assessment of optimal treatment parameters for postoperative pain. Eur. J. Pain 7(2), 181–188 (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Rakel, B., Frantz, R.: Effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on postoperative pain with movement. J. Pain 4(8), 455–464 (2003)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Li, L., Au, W.M., Li, Y., Wan, K.M., Wan, S.H., Wong, K.S.: Design of intelligent garment with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation function based on the intarsia knitting technique. Text. Res. J. 80(3), 279–286 (2010)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. International consortium for health outcomes measurement (ICHOM): Hip & Knee Osteoarthritis; Patient-Centred Outcome Measures. Version 4.0.0 (2022). Accessed Jan 2022

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Fatma Layas , Billy Woods or Sean Jenkins .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Layas, F., Woods, B., Jenkins, S. (2023). Usability and Clinical Evaluation of a Wearable TENS Device for Pain Management in Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee. In: Abdelnour Nocera, J., Kristín Lárusdóttir, M., Petrie, H., Piccinno, A., Winckler, M. (eds) Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2023. INTERACT 2023. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 14142. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-42279-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-42280-5

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics