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Oncol Nurs Forum. 2007 Jan;34(1):127-32.

Partner-delivered reflexology: effects on cancer pain and anxiety.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA. stephensonn@mail.ecu.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To compare the effects of partner-delivered foot reflexology and usual care plus attention on patients' perceived pain and anxiety.

DESIGN:

The experimental pretest/post-test design included patient-partner dyads randomly assigned to an experimental or control group.

SETTING:

Four hospitals in the southeastern United States.

SAMPLE:

42 experimental and 44 control subjects comprised 86 dyads of patients with metastatic cancer and their partners, representing 16 different types of cancer; 23% of patients had lung cancer, followed by breast, colorectal, and head and neck cancer and lymphoma. The subjects had a mean age of 58.3 years, 51% were female, 66% had a high school education or less, and 58% were Caucasian, 40% were African American, and 1% were Filipino.

METHODS:

The intervention included a 15- to 30-minute teaching session on foot reflexology to the partner by a certified reflexologist, an optional 15- to 30-minute foot reflexology session for the partner, and a 30-minute, partner-delivered foot reflexology intervention for the patient. The control group received a 30-minute reading session from their partners.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

Pain and anxiety.

FINDINGS:

Following the initial partner-delivered foot reflexology, patients experienced a significant decrease in pain intensity and anxiety.

CONCLUSIONS:

A nurse reflexologist taught partners how to perform reflexology on patients with metastatic cancer pain in the hospital, resulting in an immediate decrease in pain intensity and anxiety; minimal changes were seen in the control group, who received usual care plus attention.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

Hospitals could have qualified professionals offer reflexology as a complementary therapy and teach interested partners the modality.

PMID:
17562639
DOI:
10.1188/07.ONF.127-132
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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