Effect of Foot Reflexology Intervention on Depression, Anxiety, and Sleep Quality in Adults: A Meta-Analysis and Metaregression of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Effect of Foot Reflexology Intervention on Depression, Anxiety, and Sleep Quality in Adults: A Meta-Analysis and Metaregression of Randomized Controlled Trials

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review, meta-analysis, and metaregression to determine the current best available evidence of the efficacy and safety of foot reflexology for adult depression, anxiety, and sleep quality.

Methods: Electronic databases (PubMed, ClinicalKey, ScienceDirect, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library) were searched till August, 10, 2020, and the validity of the eligible studies was critically appraised. Randomized controlled trials comparing foot reflexology groups with control groups for adult depression, anxiety, and sleep quality were included. Twenty-six eligible studies were included to assess the effect of foot reflexology intervention on the reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety and improving quality of sleep, respectively, as the primary outcome.

Results: Twenty-six randomized controlled trials involving 2,366 participants met the inclusion criteria. The meta-analyses showed that foot reflexology intervention significantly improved adult depression (Hedges’ g = -0.921; 95% CI: -1.246 to -0.595; P < 0.001), anxiety (Hedges’ g = -1.237; 95% CI -1.682 to -0.791; P < 0.001), and sleep quality (Hedges’ g = -1.665; 95% CI -2.361 to -0.970; P < 0.001). Metaregression reveals that an increase in total foot reflexology time (P = 0.002) and duration (P = 0.01) can significantly improve sleep quality.

Conclusions: Foot reflexology may provide additional nonpharmacotherapy intervention for adults suffering from depression, anxiety, or sleep disturbance. However, high quality and rigorous design RCTs in specific population, along with an increase in participants, and a long-term follow-up are recommended in the future.

Citation:

Wang WL, Hung HY, Chen YR, Chen KH, Yang SN, Chu CM, Chan YY. Effect of Foot Reflexology Intervention on Depression, Anxiety, and Sleep Quality in Adults: A Meta-Analysis and Metaregression of Randomized Controlled Trials. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2020 Sep 15;2020:2654353. doi: 10.1155/2020/2654353. PMID: 33014101; PMCID: PMC7512096.

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:

Η πελματιαία ρεφλεξολογία μπορεί να παρέχει πρόσθετη μη φαρμακοθεραπευτική παρέμβαση σε ενήλικες που πάσχουν από κατάθλιψη, άγχος ή διαταραχές ύπνου. Ωστόσο, συνιστώνται στο μέλλον αυστηρές  και υψηλής ποιότητας δοκιμές τυχαίων ελέγχων σε συγκεκριμένο πληθυσμό, μαζί με αύξηση των συμμετεχόντων και μακροπρόθεσμη παρακολούθηση.

Full pdf of the research paper

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