A Prospective Cohort Study on the Impact of Reflexology in Patients With Breast Cancer Using the MYCaW Scale

7 mins read
breast cancer oncology A Prospective Cohort Study on the Impact of Reflexology in Patients With Breast Cancer Using the MYCaW Scale


Introduction: Breast cancer treatment and recovery remain physically and psychologically challenging for patients. Reflexology has been studied as a complementary therapy to help relieve patients of the physical and psychological stresses involved with breast cancer. As a result of recent positive evidence, we studied its effects quantitatively from 2015 to 2016.

Patients and methods: Fifty-two patients completed pre- and post-reflexology intervention ‘Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing’ (MYCaW) questionnaires. Patients were subdivided into breast cancer (BC) and non-breast cancer (NBC) groups. Concerns raised were subdivided in subcategory groups as per MYCaW guidelines and analyzed for improvements in each domain.

Results: Thirty (57.7%) patients in the BC group and 22 (42.3%) patients in the NBC group were analyzed. In the BC group, there was a 46.2% improvement in patients’ concerns, and in the NBC group, a 41.4% improvement in concerns were noted. Overall, the symptoms improved by 44.2% (P < .0001). There was an improvement of 43.4% in patient well-being in the BC group, and a 37.8% change in the NBC group, signifying a total improvement in well-being of 41.2%. There was an improvement of 46.4% in the MYCaW scores; 46.4% in the BC group and 42.6% in the NBC group, signifying a combined average improvement of 42.4%. Patients with poor energy level, sleep problems, stress and tension, and hot flushes and sweats experienced the most improvement in their concerns.

Conclusions: Our findings show that reflexology has significantly improved patient-reported outcomes using the MYCaW scale. These findings are encouraging and reflect that increased attention to strategies focusing on improving psychological well-being can help patients in managing their symptoms.

Keywords: Cancer care; Cancer well-being; Complementary medicine; Physiotherapy; Reflexology.


Kapila AK, Herd A, Knife N, Chaplin P, Patel A. A Prospective Cohort Study on the Impact of Reflexology in Patients With Breast Cancer Using the MYCaW Scale. Clin Breast Cancer. 2019 Apr;19(2):e319-e326. doi: 10.1016/j.clbc.2018.12.007. Epub 2018 Dec 19. PMID: 30691931.

The conclusion of this research paper in Greek

The purpose of this section is to make this research paper useful to Greek speaking reflexologists. This is a tool developed by the Center of Reflexology and Research (Κέντρο Ρεφλεξολογίας και Έρευνας) in Greece and supervised volunteers from across the world.

Μετάφραση των συμπερασμάτων της συγκεκριμένης έρευνας:

Τα ευρήματά μάς δείχνουν ότι η ρεφλεξολογία βελτίωσε σημαντικά τα αναφερόμενα από τον ασθενή αποτελέσματα χρησιμοποιώντας την κλίμακα “Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing”. Αυτά τα ευρήματα είναι ενθαρρυντικά και αποδεικνύουν ότι η αυξανόμενη προσοχή σε στρατηγικές που εστιάζουν στη βελτίωση της ψυχολογικής ευεξίας μπορεί να βοηθήσει τους ασθενείς στη διαχείριση των συμπτωμάτων τους.

Previous publication

A randomised, controlled trial of the psychological effects of reflexology in early breast cancer

Next publication

Evaluation of the effects of reflexology on quality of life and symptomatic relief in multiple sclerosis patients with moderate to severe disability; a pilot study