Does reflexology impact on cancer patients’ quality of life?
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Does reflexology impact on cancer patients’ quality of life?

Heather Hodgson Clinical Team Leader, Surgery, Gynaecology and Urology, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow

Aim The objective of this study was to determine whether reflexology has an impact on the quality of life of patients in the palliative stage of cancer.

Method Twelve patients in the palliative stage of cancer with various tumour types were randomised into two groups. They were randomly assigned to receive either reflexology or placebo reflexology. All participants completed a linear analogue self-assessment scale relating to quality of life. All participants then received three sessions of either reflexology or placebo reflexology. The same person, a qualified reflexologist, provided the interventions for both groups. The participants were not aware of which intervention they were receiving. All participants then completed a second linear analogue self-assessment scale relating to quality of life.

Results All participants felt that their quality of life had improved, even those who had received the placebo treatment. The reflexology group, however, reported more benefit than the placebo group. There was a significant difference (p=0.004) between the reflexology group and the placebo group.

Conclusion This study showed that reflexology does have an impact on the quality of life of patients in the palliative stage of cancer.

Nursing Standard. 14, 31,33-38. doi: 10.7748/ns2000.04.14.31.33.c2817