Background: Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) are increasingly used in the therapeutic arsenal, particularly for pain management. Foot reflexology (FR) is still poorly evaluated, specifically in the pediatric population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of FR sessions in children experiencing chronic or persistent pain.
Methods: We conducted a prospective study in two pediatric centers from January 2011 to January 2014. Sessions of FR were offered to children regardless of their age, experiencing persistent pain (>72h) or chronic pain (>3 months). A form was completed by the patient before and after each FR sessions. The effectiveness of the session was evaluated using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for both pain and anxiety.
Results: One hundred and twenty-two patients suffering from persistent pain were included. We observed a significant decrease of mean VAS pain scores after each session (respectively P<0.001, P<0.001 and P=0.015) and of mean VAS anxiety scores (P<0.001) for all sessions). Seventy patients suffering from chronic pain were included. Decrease in VAS pain scores was statistically significant after each reflexology session for children suffering from headache and musculoskeletal pain (P<0.001). Anxiety was significantly lower after each session (P<0.001).
Conclusion: In 192 pediatric patients, FR significantly reduce pain and anxiety in children suffering from persistent or chronic pain. This CAM could have a place in pain management in children but needs to be evaluated in larger cohorts.
Keywords: Anxiety; Anxiété; Children; Complementary and alternative medicines; Douleur; Foot reflexology; Pain; Pédiatrie; Réflexologie plantaire; Thérapies alternatives et complémentaires.
Bertrand A, Mauger-Vauglin CE, Martin S, Goy F, Delafosse C, Marec-Berard P. Evaluation of efficacy and feasibility of foot reflexology in children experiencing chronic or persistent pain. Bull Cancer. 2019 Dec;106(12):1073-1079. doi: 10.1016/j.bulcan.2019.05.008. Epub 2019 Jul 26. PMID: 31358289.
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:
Σε 192 παιδιατρικούς ασθενείς, η πελματιαία ρεφλεξολογία μείωσε σημαντικά τον πόνο και το άγχος σε παιδιά που υποφέρουν από επίμονο ή χρόνιο πόνο. Αυτή η συμπληρωματική εναλλακτική θεραπεία θα μπορούσε να έχει θέση στη διαχείριση του πόνου στα παιδιά, αλλά πρέπει να αξιολογηθεί σε μεγαλύτερο δείγμα.