Archive for the ‘quality of life’ Category

A randomised, controlled trial of the psychological effects of reflexology in early breast cancer.

In a study of 183 post-operative breast cancer patients, those receiving reflexology showed clinically significant improvements in quality of life compared with those undergoing self-initiated support alone.

PMID: 19906525 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Sharp DM, Walker MB, Chaturvedi A, Upadhyay S, Hamid A, Walker AA, Bateman JS, Braid F, Ellwood K, Hebblewhite C, Hope T, Lines M, Walker LG. “A randomised, controlled trial of the psychological effects of reflexology in early breast cancer.” Eur J Cancer. 2010 Jan; 46(2): 312-22. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

The Institute of Rehabilitation, University of Hull, Kingston upon Hull, UK.

To conduct a pragmatic randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effects of reflexology on quality of life (QofL) in women with early breast cancer.

One hundred and eighty-three women were randomised 6 weeks post-breast surgery to self-initiated support (SIS) (comparator intervention), SIS plus reflexology, or SIS plus scalp massage (control for physical and social contact). Reflexology and massage comprised eight sessions at weekly intervals. The primary end-point was 18 weeks post surgery; the primary outcome measure was the Trial Outcome Index (TOI) of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT-B) – breast cancer version. The secondary end-point was 24 weeks post surgery. Secondary outcome measures were the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Mood Rating Scale (MRS).

At primary end-point, massage, but not reflexology, was significantly better than SIS on the TOI. Reflexology and massage were both better than SIS for MRS relaxation. Massage was better than reflexology and SIS for MRS easygoingness. At secondary end-point, reflexology, but not massage, was better than SIS on the TOI and MRS relaxation. There were no significant differences between reflexology or massage. There were no significant between group differences in HADS anxiety and depression. Self-reported use of out of study complementary therapies indicated that this was unlikely to have a significant effect on findings.

When compared to SIS, reflexology and massage have statistically significant, and, for reflexology, clinically worthwhile, effects on QofL following surgery for early breast carcinoma.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 19906525 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Reflexology audit: patient satisfaction, impact on quality of life and availability in Scottish hospices

PMID: 12419988 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Source of below abstract:

Milligan M, Fanning M, Hunter S, Tadjali M, Stevens E., “Reflexology audit: patient satisfaction, impact on quality of life and availability in Scottish hospices.” Int J Palliat Nurs. 2002 Oct; 8(10):489-96.

Ayrshire Cancer Support Group, Scotland.

Complementary therapies are being accessed increasingly by cancer patients. The aims of this audit were to investigate the impact of reflexology on the quality of life of 20 cancer patients, to determine their satisfaction with the service provided and to investigate the availability of this therapy within Scottish hospices. The audit findings suggest that the clients were satisfied with the service received. Respondents noted that their quality of life was improved through a reduction in physical and emotional symptoms. It was found that the provision of reflexology within Scottish hospices varied, with less than half providing this service. The results of this audit suggest that reflexology may be a worthwhile treatment for other cancer patients and requires further research to evaluate the benefits.

PMID: 12419988 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Feasibility of a reflexology and guided imagery intervention during chemotherapy: results of a quasi-experimental study

Part of Dr. Gwen K. Wyatt’s research study, an Intervention for Advanced Breast Cancer, carried out from 2005-2010 at Michigan State University.

PMID: 17573322 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Source of abstract below:

Wyatt G, Sikorskii A, Siddiqi A, Given CW., “Feasibility of a reflexology and guided imagery intervention during chemotherapy: results of a quasi-experimental study.” Oncol Nurs Forum. 2007 May; 34(3): 635-42.

The College of Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.


To evaluate patient characteristics to predict selection and maintenance of a complementary therapy and the feasibility of a randomized clinical trial (RCT) of complementary therapies.

Quasi-experimental, exploratory study, unblinded and nonrandomized.

A comprehensive cancer center in Michigan.

96 patients undergoing chemotherapy, predominantly Caucasian women.

Consenting patients with caregivers could choose a reflexology, guided imagery, guided imagery plus reflexology, or interview-only group. Patients without caregivers were restricted to guided imagery or interview-only groups. Data on demographics, depression, anxiety, and functional status were collected using established instruments.

Quality of life (QOL) and patient characteristics in relation to complementary therapy choice.

Patients who chose a complementary therapy rather than an interview only tended to be older and in worse health and had higher percentages of lung cancer, late-stage cancers, higher anxiety, depressive symptoms, and physical limitations at baseline. Patients lost from the guided imagery and guided imagery plus reflexology groups had greater symptom severity, depressive symptoms and anxiety, and worse physical and emotional well-being than those lost from the reflexology group.

Patient characteristics influence choice of complementary therapies, highlighting the need for RCTs to evaluate the true effect of complementary therapies on the QOL of patients with cancer. Further research on complementary therapies can help healthcare providers identify patients who are likely to benefit most by addressing nursing-sensitive outcomes.

An RCT of reflexology as a single therapy for females with breast cancer is most feasible compared to other complementary therapies.

PMID: 17573322 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

See also: Chicago Tribune article February 11, 2009

See also: Statement from Dr. Gwen K. Wyatt to Reflexology Association of America in 2008
Courtesy of RAA – Reflexology Association of America

Reflexology for symptom relief in patients with cancer

January 31, 2012 1 comment
Wilkinson SLockhart KGambles MStorey L., “Reflexology for symptom relief in patients with cancer,” Cancer Nursing. 2008 Sep-Oct; 31(5): 354-60; quiz 361-2.

Department of Mental Health Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, The Hampstead Campus, London, England.

Complementary therapies are increasingly being used in hospices and hospitals alongside orthodox treatments in an attempt to improve patients’ emotional, spiritual, psychological, and physical well-being. An average of 31% of UK patients with cancer use some form of complementary therapy. Many UK cancer centers, out-patient units, and hospices are providing complementary services. There is strong anecdotal evidence that complementary therapies assist in the palliation of physical and psychological symptoms. This systematic review examines the research evidence base for the effectiveness of reflexology in cancer care. The study reports the results of a systematic review following the Cochrane principles of systematic reviewing. No meta-analysis was possible. Studies were retrieved from a comprehensive search of electronic databases from their start dates. An initial search was carried out in 2003 and updated in 2005 to 2006. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials, controlled before and after studies, and interrupted time-series studies. Participants were adults with a diagnosis of cancer, receiving care in any healthcare setting. Interventions were limited to reflexology carried out by a qualified therapist as distinguished from another healthcare professional carrying out areflexology intervention. Outcome measures were patient-reported levels of physical and psychological indices of symptom distress and quality of life (measured using validated assessment tools).

PMID: 18772659 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]