School of Nursing at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina;
College of Nursing at University of Louisville in Kentucky;
College of Nursing Office of Research at the University of South Carolina in Columbia
Stephenson Nl, Weinrich SP, Tavakoli AS., "The Effects of Foot Reflexology on Anxiety and Pain in Patients with Breast and Lung Cancer." Oncology Nursing Forum, 2000, Vol. 27, No. 1, pages 67-72
23 patients with breast and lung cancer were given 30 minutes of foot reflexology with a two-day break in between for a control condition. Following the foot reflexology intervention, patients with breast and lung cancer experienced a significant decrease in anxiety. One of three pain measures showed that patients with breast cancer experienced a significant decrease in pain.
The significant decrease in anxiety observed in this sample of patients with breast and lung cancer following foot reflexology suggests that this may be a self-care approach to decrease anxiety in this patient population. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Professionals and lay people can be taught reflexology. Foot reflexology is an avenue for human touch, can be performed anywhere, requires no special equipment, is noninvasive, and does not interfere with patients' privacy.