In previous studies, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) has been applied to patients with either Alzheimer's disease (AD) or incipient dementia, resulting in an enhancement in memory and verbal fluency. Moreover, affective behavior was shown to improve. Based on the positive effects of TENS in AD, it was hypothesized that TENS would improve self-efficacy in nondemented elderly with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who live in a residential home. Four outcome measures, that is, a Dutch translation of the General Self-Efficacy Scale (Algemene Competentie Schaal), the Groninger Activity Restriction Scale, the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale, and the Geriatric Depression Scale, were administered. Overall, the results suggest that the experimental group showed a mild improvement in self-efficacy and mood. In contrast, the placebo group showed a considerable reduction in self-efficacy and an increase in depression. Limitations of the present study and suggestions for future research are discussed. © 2004, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.