Effect of Foot Reflexology on Pain and Anxiety in Women Following Elective Cesarean Section

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women’s Health Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 M.Sc. Student of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

5 Assistant Professor of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Faculty of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: Despite the technological advances in health care, routine analgesic procedures in postoperative pain control remain inadequate and require complementary therapies and interventions. Reflexology is one of the most popular forms of alternative and complementary therapy which its effectiveness has not been clearly demonstrated. So with respect to high rate of cesarean in Iran and the importance of pain relief after cesarean section and improving mobility, reducing the risk of thromboembolic events and having more ability to take care of newborn in first hours of birth, this study was performed to determine effect of foot reflexology on pain and anxiety in women after elective cesarean section.
Methods: This clinical trial study was conducted on 61 women who were planning to have a cesarean delivery in pastor hospital of Mashhad in 2011. Samples were randomly divided into foot reflexology group and routine cares group with simple sampling method. The case group received routine cares and foot reflexology for 10 minutes in each foot; whereas the control group received only routine cares. Post operative pain and anxiety were evaluated by visual analogue scale (VAS). Data were analyzed using SPSS version 14 and statistical tests such as, T test, paired t-test, Man-Whitney, chi-square, Fisher exact tests were done and pResults: There was no statistically significant difference in pain intensity before intervention between two groups by using t-test (p=0.814), but after intervention, the difference was significant by Man-Whitney test (p=0.004). There was not statistically significant difference between two groups regarding postoperative anxiety score (p=0.215).
Conclusion: Foot reflexology proved useful as an effective nursing intervention in controlling post cesarean pain.


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