This 3 minute-VDO using a mannequin and 3D models will show you how to participate in this study.


Study Protocol (Summary)


  • New Zealand has a significant number of people suffering from spinal cord injuries. Bladder dysfunction occurs in most cases and has a major impact on the quality of life. Our research study has found that the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (or TENS) can improve bladder function. This study aims to evaluate whether TENS is safe and feasible to be performed at home and whether it improves bladder function in adults living with chronic spinal cord injury. This study uses remote technologies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 restrictions.
  • If you are eligible and sign a consent form, you will be enrolled in this study. Then a study package will be posted to your home address for self-intervention and data collection. The package contains a new TENS device with two electrode pads (Omron HV-F128), a urine container for volume measurement, and printed documents.
  • We will set up a video conference for tutorial and training on how to use the TENS device and complete the protocol. You can invite your caregiver to join as well.
  • After training, you can perform the procedure by yourself or with the assistance of your carer for 4 week on top of usual care at your home.

How to apply TENS

  • Attach two-electrode Pads to the skin at the junction of buttocks and upper thighs or along the gluteal folds.
  • It is a good idea to ask someone in your family or carer to help you.
  • Turn on the power to Level 6. The special mode is pre-set already for every time you use TENS.
  • TENS device will send electrical pulses and show counting down from 15 minutes on the screen.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, you can reduce the Intensity by Press the button “SOFT” for gentle stimulation.
  • The power will be turned off automatically within 15 minutes.
  • Peel off the Pad from the skin and store the Electrode Pads and the TENS device.

How to complete the protocol

  • You or your caregiver will check the skin at the electrode sites and record any side effects that occur during and after using TENS.
  • Once a day, you will record any side effects, urine volume, urine leakage, and bladder feeling in the bladder diary.
  • For your convenience, an online recording is also available on a webpage and mobile app using your own device and the internet.
  • The volume of urine will be measured and recorded after each clean intermittent catheterisation using the measuring cup provided.
  • We will telephone you weekly for 5 to 10 minutes to collect the information and monitor any side effects during the study.

 Final step

  • After 4 weeks, you will complete the last questionnaire and return the recorded diary with the TENS device using a prepaid bag provided.
  • You will receive a gift voucher (eGift Card or equivalent) at the end of the study.
  • Study procedures and assessments at each step are shown in the table below: