Reflexology vs relaxation on fatigue in 75 women with multiple sclerosis

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Comparing the effects of reflexology and relaxation on fatigue in women with multiple sclerosis

Abstract

Background:

Fatigue is the most common and highly disabling symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS) that has negative effects on employment, the process of socialization, compliance with the disease, and other factors effective on activities of daily living.

The usage of complementary and alternative medicine methods in MS patients is higher than in the general population.

However, there is no scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Therefore, this study aimed to compare the effects of reflexology and relaxation on fatigue in women with MS.

Materials and Methods:

This study is a single-blinded randomized clinical trial that was done on 75 patients with MS who referred to the MS Clinic of Ayatollah Kashani Hospital (Isfahan, Iran).

After simple non-random sampling, participants were randomly assigned by minimization method to three groups: Reflexology, relaxation, and control groups (25 patients in each group).

In the experimental groups, the interventions foot reflexology and relaxation (Jacobson and Benson) were performed for 4 weeks, twice a week for 40 min in each session, and the control group received care and routine medical treatment as directed by a physician.

Data were collected through a questionnaire and the fatigue severity scale before, immediately after, and 2 months after interventions from all three groups. Data analysis was performed by SPSS version 18 using descriptive and inferential statistical methods.

Results:

Findings obtained from analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that there was no significant difference in the mean fatigue severity scores in the pre-interventions between the three groups (P > 0.05), but there was significant difference immediately after and 2 months after interventions between the three groups (P < 0.05).

Findings obtained from repeated measures (ANOVA) showed that there was significant difference in the mean fatigue severity scores during different times between the three groups (P < 0.05), while this difference was not significant in the control group (P > 0.05).

Furthermore, least significant difference post-hoc test revealed that the mean scores of fatigue severity immediately after intervention was lower in the reflexology group than in the other two groups and were lower in the relaxation group than in the control group;

2 months after interventions, the mean scores of fatigue severity were lower in the reflexology group than in the other two groups, but there was no significant difference between the two groups of relaxation and control (P > 0.05).

Conclusions:

It seems that both interventions were effective in reducing fatigue, but the effects of reflexology on reducing fatigue were more than those of relaxation. Hence, as these two methods are effective and affordable techniques, they can be recommended.

Keywords: Fatigue, multiple sclerosis, reflexology, relaxation

Citation:

Nazari F, Shahreza MS, Shaygannejad V, Valiani M. Comparing the effects of reflexology and relaxation on fatigue in women with multiple sclerosis. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2015;20(2):200–204.

Actionable Information for Reflexologists

In this section you will find how this research paper enacted reflexology to produce these results. We at Reflexology.Report distilled the Methodology portion of this research paper and we are presenting you with:

  • General methods used
  • Organization and duration of sessions
  • Reflexology points

The purpose of this section is to make this research paper useful to all 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.

First of all, a general reflex therapy was performed by massaging all plantar reflexology points and then, a special reflex therapy was done. The major reflexive points in the feet were put under pressure using the thumb and index finger. Finally, the intervention was completed with massage of the solar plexus.

Aρχικά πραγματοποιήθηκε μια γενική μάλαξη των αντανακλαστικών σε όλα τα σημεία της πελματικής ρεφλεξολογίας και στη συνέχεια, έγινε μια ειδική μάλαξη σε αντανακλαστικά. Τα κύρια αντανακλαστικά σημεία στα πόδια τέθηκαν υπό πίεση χρησιμοποιώντας τον αντίχειρα και το δείκτη. Τέλος, η παρέμβαση ολοκληρώθηκε με μάλαξη του ηλιακού πλέγματος.

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