Learning from litigation: burns claims from electrotherapy (electrophysical agents)

This briefing sets out the minimum levels of safe practice for physiotherapists using electrophysical agents (EPA/electrotherapy).


This briefing sets out the minimum expectations of safe practice from all physiotherapists who make a decision to use electrotherapy.

It highlights the avoidable nature of burns that may occur through the negligent use of electrotherapy. This document uses the most up-to-date term, ‘electrophysical agents’ (EPA), when referring to electrotherapy.

This briefing draws from the CSP public liability insurance scheme to highlight practice points associated with litigation claims.

There is a wide and often opposing spectrum of clinical opinion with regard to the evidence base for the effectiveness of EPA. This briefing does not set out to analyse that conflict.

Neither does this document set out to be a definitive guide to the safe use of electrophysical and/or therapeutic agents, nor act as a guide for members on how to apply EPA.