- Volume 1 Issue 2
The purpose of this study was to test the effects of foot reflexology on pain and mood in patients who have just had a mastectomy. The research design was a nonequivalent control group, non-synchronized design. The participants for this study were 28 patients with breast cancer on first or second day after mastectomy surgery. The first 12 patients were assigned to the control group and the second 16 to the experimental group. The study was conducted from October 28, 2001 to December 22, 2001 on a surgical unit of Y Medical Center in Seoul, Korea. Pain intensity, blood pressure, pulse rate and mood were measured as dependent variables. The instrument used for pain intensity and mood was a 10 cm visual analogue scale. Cronbach alpha for this study was .70. For the experimental group pre and post tests were done immediately before and 15 minutes after completion of foot reflexology. Foot reflexology was performed once for 20 minutes. After the pretest, patients in the control group were instructed to have a quiet time for a 35 minute period and then the post-test was done. The number of participants was small so the data were analyzed by Mann-Whitney U test, and Wilcoxon signed ranks test. The results of this study are as follow : 1. In the experimental group there were significant decreases between the pre and post tests for pain intensity (z=-3.47, p<.001), diastolic blood pressure (z=-2.67, p<.01) and pulse rate (z=-3.44, p<.001) but there was no difference between the two groups on the post test. 2. The systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate were also not significantly different between the experimental group and the control group on the post test. 3. The mood score was significantly improved after foot reflexology(z=-3.52, p=.000) and the difference between the two groups was also significant (u=49.0, p=.03). In conclusion, there was a statistically significant difference in mood between the two groups, but no difference for pain intensity, blood pressure, or pulse rate. However, there were significant differences between the pretest and post-test for pain intensity, diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate in the experimental group. On the basis of the above findings, this study suggests that foot reflexology can be an effective method of relieving pain and improving mood in clinical practice in women who have had mastectomy surgery.