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Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2007 Jun;18(6):653-8. Epub 2006 Sep 27.

Randomized controlled trial of foot reflexology for patients with symptomatic idiopathic detrusor overactivity.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong, China.


The aim of this study was to examine whether foot reflexology has beneficial effects on patients with idiopathic detrusor overactivity. One hundred and nine women with symptomatic idiopathic detrusor overactivity were randomized into either foot reflexology treatment group or nonspecific foot massage control group. The primary outcome measure was the change in the diurnal micturition frequency. There was significant change in the number of daytime frequency in the reflexology group when compared with the massage group (-1.90 vs -0.55, p = 0.029). There was also a decrease in the 24-h micturition frequency in both groups, but the change was not statistically significant (-2.80 vs -1.04 p = 0.055). In the reflexology group, more patients believed to have received "true" reflexology (88.9 vs 67.4%, p = 0.012). This reflects the difficulty of blinding in trials of reflexology. Larger scale studies with a better-designed control group and an improved blinding are required to examine if reflexology is effective in improving patients' overall outcome.

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