Effects of Foot Reflexology on Fatigue, Sleep and Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Department of Nursing, Christian College of Nursing, Gwangju, Korea.
Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing (Impact Factor: 0.38). 12/2011; 41(6):821-33. DOI: 10.4040/jkan.2011.41.6.821
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of foot reflexology on fatigue, sleep and pain.
A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted. Electronic database and manual searches were conducted on all published studies reporting the effects of foot reflexology on fatigue, sleep, and pain. Forty four studies were eligible including 15 studies associated with fatigue, 18 with sleep, and 11 with pain. The effects of foot reflexology were analyzed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Version 2.0. The homogeneity and the fail-safe N were calculated. Moreover, a funnel plot was used to assess publication bias.
The effects on fatigue, sleep, and pain were not homogeneous and ranged from 0.63 to 5.29, 0.01 to 3.22, and 0.43 to 2.67, respectively. The weighted averages for fatigue, sleep, and pain were 1.43, 1.19, and 1.35, respectively. No publication bias was detected as evaluated by fail-safe N. Foot reflexology had a larger effect on fatigue and sleep and a smaller effect on pain.
This meta-analysis indicates that foot reflexology is a useful nursing intervention to relieve fatigue and to promote sleep. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effects of foot reflexology on outcome variables other than fatigue, sleep and pain.

30 Reads
  • Source
    • "However, few studies have attempted to correlate these results with any quantitative physiological or biochemical outcomes. To date six literature reviews of reflexology have been carried out [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] and three further reviews on reflexology for cancer care [19], pain and fatigue [2], and pain management [11] are also available. None of these have focused specifically on the quantitative aspect of the results available, although the overwhelming opinion from the authors is that there is not enough high quality RCTs to produce significant scientific data for recommending reflexology as an evidencebased treatment option. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Reflexology is one of the top forms of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the UK and is used for healthcare by a diverse range of people. However, it is offered by few healthcare providers as little scientific evidence is available explaining how it works or any health benefits it may confer. The aim of this review was to assess the current evidence available from reflexology randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that have investigated changes in physiological or biochemical outcomes. Methods: Guidelines from the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions were followed: the following databases were searched from inception-December 2013: AMED, CAM Quest, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase, Medline Ovid, Proquest and Pubmed. Risk of bias was assessed independently by two members of the review team and overall strength of the evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation guidelines. Results: Seventeen eligible RCT’s met all inclusion criteria. A total of 34 objective outcome measures were analysed. Although twelve studies showed significant changes within the reflexology group, only three studies investigating blood pressure, cardiac index and salivary amylase resulted in significant between group changes in favour of reflexology. The overall quality of the studies was low. Keywords: Biochemistry, physiology, reflexology, systematic review.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 05/2014; DOI:10.1155/2014/502123 · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of spiritual intervention studies by examining biological, psychological, and spiritual outcomes. From electronic databases 2522 studies were retrieved, of which 21 studies met the inclusion criteria. These studies had 1411 participants. Two authors independently extracted data from the selected studies and assessed the methodological quality. The data were analyzed using the RevMan 5.1 program of the Cochrane library. Overall effect size of spiritual intervention on spiritual and psychological (depression and anxiety) outcomes were moderate (d=-0.65 to d=-0.76, p<.001). The effects on biological outcomes (pain and functional status) ranged from -0.51 to -0.39, respectively. No publication bias was detected as evaluated by a funnel plot. Spiritual intervention had a moderate effect on psychological and spiritual outcomes and a smaller effect on biological outcomes. The results of this study suggest that spiritual intervention can relieve depression and anxiety. Further randomized controlled trials studies are needed to evaluate the effects of spiritual intervention on biological outcomes.
    Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing 12/2012; 42(6):833-42. DOI:10.4040/jkan.2012.42.6.833 · 0.38 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Advancements in breast cancer treatment continue to improve the likelihood of survival. The increase in survival has come at a cost, however; the late effects of breast cancer treatment have remained a constant reminder to women of what they have endured and require holistic nursing's attention. One area of nursing practice that might improve the condition of breast cancer survivors once their treatment has ended is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. To provide guidance to nurses working with breast cancer survivors, a focused review of the literature exploring the symptomatology and prevalence of breast cancer's late effects as well as the use of CAM therapies to improve those effects is presented. Evidence suggests that CAM therapies have sometimes been incorporated into symptom management strategies currently employed; however, the evidential claims as a whole have been generally inconclusive, especially for complete resolution of the late effects. Regardless, a number of studies demonstrate a reduction of negative symptoms experienced with few to no side effects of CAM therapies.
    Journal of Holistic Nursing 06/2014; 33(1). DOI:10.1177/0898010114539191
Show more


30 Reads
Available from