Contraindications for superficial heat and therapeutic ultrasound: Do sources agree?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Batavia M. Contraindications for superficial heat and therapeutic ultrasound: do sources agree? Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:1006-12. Objectives To determine the amount of agreement among general rehabilitation sources for both superficial heating and therapeutic ultrasound contraindications. Data sources English-language textbook and peer-reviewed journal sources, from January 1992 to July 2002. Searches of computerized databases (HealthSTAR, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Embase) as well as Library of Congress Online Catalogs, Books in Print, and AcqWeb's Directory of Publishers and Venders. Data selection Sources were excluded if they (1) were published before 1992, (2) failed to address general rehabilitation audiences, or (3) were identified as a researcher's related publication with similar information on the topic. Data extraction Type and number of contraindications, type of audience, year of publication, number of references, rationales, and alternative treatment strategies. Data synthesis Eighteen superficial heat and 20 ultrasound sources identified anywhere from 5 to 22 and 9 to 36 contraindications/precautions, respectively. Agreement among sources was generally high but ranged from 11% to 95%, with lower agreement noted for pregnancy, metal implants, edema, skin integrity, and cognitive/communicative concerns. Seventy-two percent of superficial heat sources and 25% of ultrasound sources failed to reference at least 1 contraindication claim. Conclusions Agreement among contraindication sources was generally good for both superficial heat and therapeutic ultrasound. Sources varied with regard to the number of contraindications, references, and rationales cited. Greater reliance on objective data and standardized classification systems may serve to develop more uniform guidelines for superficial heat and therapeutic ultrasound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1012
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Heat
  • Rehabilitation
  • Review [publication type]
  • Ultrasonic therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Contraindications for superficial heat and therapeutic ultrasound: Do sources agree?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this