Complementary Therapies for Patients with Cancer: Reflexology and Relaxation in Integrative Palliative Care. A Randomized Controlled Comparative Study

7 mins read
Complementary Therapies for Patients with Cancer: Reflexology and Relaxation in Integrative Palliative Care. A Randomized Controlled Comparative Study

Abstract

Objectives: Comparison of the effects of reflexology and relaxation on pain, anxiety, and depression, and quality of life (QoL) of patients with cancer. Design: A stratified random sample was selected, using an experimental design. Location: An outpatient Palliative Care Unit in Attica, Greece. Subjects: 88 patients suffering with cancer. Interventions: The sample was randomly divided into two equal groups, a reflexology and a relaxation group. The number of interventions for both groups was six 30-min weekly sessions. Outcome measures: The Greek Brief Pain Inventory (G-BPI) was used to measure pain, the Greek Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for screening anxiety and depression, and finally the Short Form Health Survey was used to measure QoL. Measurements of the above tools were taken three times in both groups as follows: preintervention, at fourth and at sixth week of intervention. Results: Anxiety and depression for both groups exhibited a statistically significant decrease during the observation period (p < 0.001, η2 > 0.25) but at the sixth week, there was a more significant decrease in the reflexology group compared with the relaxation group (p = 0.062, η2 = 0.044 vs. p = 0.005, η2 = 0.096 for anxiety), (p = 0.006, η2 = 0.094 vs. p = 0.001, η2 = 0.138 for depression). QoL physical and mental component measurements were significantly greater for the reflexology group (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.168 and p = 0.017, η2 = 0.071, respectively). The baseline-to-sixth week G-BPI measurements were markedly decreased for the reflexology group (p = 0.207, η2 = 0.020). Conclusions: Both interventions, relaxation and reflexology, seemed to be effective in decreasing anxiety and depression in patients with cancer. However, reflexology was found to be more effective in improving QoL (physical component) and to have a greater effect on pain management than relaxation.

Keywords: anxiety and depression; integrative palliative care; pain; quality of life; reflexology; relaxation.

Citation:

Mantoudi A, Parpa E, Tsilika E, Batistaki C, Nikoloudi M, Kouloulias V, Kostopoulou S, Galanos A, Mystakidou K. Complementary Therapies for Patients with Cancer: Reflexology and Relaxation in Integrative Palliative Care. A Randomized Controlled Comparative Study. J Altern Complement Med. 2020 Sep;26(9):792-798. doi: 10.1089/acm.2019.0402. PMID: 32924560.

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:

Και οι δύο παρεμβάσεις, η χαλάρωση και η ρεφλεξολογία, φάνηκαν να είναι αποτελεσματικές στη μείωση του άγχους και της κατάθλιψης σε ασθενείς με καρκίνο. Ωστόσο, η ρεφλεξολογία βρέθηκε να είναι πιο αποτελεσματική στη βελτίωση της ποιότητας ζωής (φυσική διάσταση) και να έχει μεγαλύτερη επίδραση στη διαχείριση του πόνου από τη χαλάρωση.

Previous publication

Effect of reflexology on anxiety and sleep of informal cancer caregiver: Randomized controlled trial

Next publication

Effects of foot reflexology on essential hypertension patients