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

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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

Abstract

Objective: To examine the feasibility of delivering reflexology to people moderately to severely affected by multiple sclerosis and to investigate the effect on a range of symptoms.

Methods: A pilot single-blind randomized placebo controlled trial.

Setting: An outpatient multiple sclerosis rehabilitation centre.

Subjects: Twenty people moderately to severely affected by multiple sclerosis were randomized into one of two groups receiving either reflexology or sham reflexology.

Intervention: Each participant received 8 weeks, 1 hour per week of either reflexology or sham reflexology.

Main measures: Primary outcome measure was the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS29). Secondary measures assessed a range of symptoms at baseline, 8 weeks and 16 weeks.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups at either 8 (P = 0.538) or 16 (P = 0.112) weeks for the primary outcome measure; however, both groups demonstrated small improvements from 92.3 (SD 20.9) to 75.6 (SD 3.3) with reflexology, and 91.3 (SD 29.9) to 81.5 (±18.5) with sham reflexology group after 8 weeks of treatment. Small improvements were noted in most of the secondary outcome measures at 8 weeks. There was no difference between the groups at 8 weeks except for bladder function (P = 0.003) and most scores returned to baseline at follow-up.

Conclusions: The results do not support the use of reflexology for symptom relief in a more disabled multiple sclerosis population and are strongly suggestive of a placebo response. This study demonstrates, however, that reflexology can be delivered and is well tolerated by people who are moderately to severely affected by multiple sclerosis.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; quality of life; reflexology; severe disability.

Citation:

Miller L, McIntee E, Mattison P. 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. Clin Rehabil. 2013 Jul;27(7):591-8. doi: 10.1177/0269215512469383. Epub 2013 Feb 12. PMID: 23405024.

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 αποτελέσματα δεν υποστηρίζουν τη χρήση της ρεφλεξολογίας για την ανακούφιση των συμπτωμάτων σε πληθυσμό με προχωρημένη σκλήρυνση κατά πλάκας και υποδηλώνουν έντονα την απόκριση του εικονικού φαρμάκου. Ωστόσο, αυτή η μελέτη δείχνει ότι η ρεφλεξολογία μπορεί να χορηγηθεί και είναι καλά ανεκτή από άτομα που έχουν μέτρια έως σοβαρή προσβολή από σκλήρυνση κατά πλάκας.

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