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

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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