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Cancer Nurs. 2010 Nov-Dec;33(6):454-60. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3181d761c1.

The effects of warm-water footbath on relieving fatigue and insomnia of the gynecologic cancer patients on chemotherapy.

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Taipei Veteran General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.



Most patients experience fatigue during chemotherapy. Ignoring this fatigue can contribute to worsening overall health of patients and a slowed recovery process.


We investigated the effectiveness of a warm-water footbath on relieving fatigue and insomnia problems in patients undergoing chemotherapy.


This was a 2-group, longitudinal study design. Adults diagnosed with gynecologic cancer and receiving a 4-series platinum chemotherapy regimen were recruited and then followed up for 6 months. They completed fatigue and insomnia items on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, and 14th days after each scheduled chemotherapy. Participants in the experimental group soaked their feet in 41°C to 42°C warm water for 20 minutes every evening, starting from the eve of receiving the first chemotherapy, whereas participants in the comparison group did not do so.


: There were 25 and 18 participants in the comparison and experimental groups, respectively, who completed the study. Participants in the experimental group reported a significant reduction in fatigue and improvement in sleep quality from the second session of chemotherapy and continued to improve during the study period.


A warm-water footbath intervention resulted in reduced fatigue and insomnia symptoms for gynecologic cancer patients during chemotherapy.


A warm-water footbath is local moist heat application. It is noninvasive and easy to apply at home. The findings provide empirical support that a warm-water footbath relieves fatigue and insomnia problems of patients undergoing chemotherapy. It can be a nonpharmaceutical method to help patients overcome fatigue and sleep problems during chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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