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Oncol Nurs Forum. 2012 Nov;39(6):568-77. doi: 10.1188/12.ONF.568-577.

Health-related quality-of-life outcomes: a reflexology trial with patients with advanced-stage breast cancer.

Author information

1
College of Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. gwyatt@msu.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of reflexology, a complementary therapy that applies pressure to specific areas of the feet.

DESIGN:

Longitudinal, randomized clinical trial.

SETTING:

Thirteen community-based medical oncology clinics across the midwestern United States.

SAMPLE:

A convenience sample of 385 predominantly Caucasian women with advanced-stage breast cancer receiving chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy.

METHODS:

Following the baseline interview, women were randomized into three primary groups: reflexology (n = 95), lay foot manipulation (LFM) (n = 95), or conventional care (n = 96). Two preliminary reflexology (n = 51) and LFM (n = 48) test groups were used to establish the protocols. Participants were interviewed again postintervention at study weeks 5 and 11.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

Breast cancer-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL), physical functioning, and symptoms.

FINDINGS:

No adverse events were reported. A longitudinal comparison revealed significant improvements in physical functioning for the reflexology group compared to the control group (p = 0.04). Severity of dyspnea was reduced in the reflexology group compared to the control group (p < 0.01) and the LFM group (p = 0.02). No differences were found on breast cancer-specific HRQOL, depressive symptomatology, state anxiety, pain, and nausea.

CONCLUSIONS:

Reflexology may be added to existing evidence-based supportive care to improve HRQOL for patients with advanced-stage breast cancer during chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

Reflexology can be recommended for safety and usefulness in relieving dyspnea and enhancing functional status among women with advanced-stage breast cancer.

PMID:
23107851
PMCID:
PMC3576031
DOI:
10.1188/12.ONF.568-577
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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