Effect of foot reflexology on pain and fatigue in HIV/AIDS


Ounprasertpong LA; International Conference on AIDS (15th : 2004 : Bangkok, Thailand).

Int Conf AIDS. 2004 Jul 11-16; 15: abstract no. ThPeD7743.
Ramathibodi Hospital,Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Introduction: Purpose: A randomized clinical trial with a crossover design was used to test the impact of foot reflexology on mimic foot reflexology in 28 hospitalized AIDS patients about their perception of pain and fatigue in Nonthaburee, Thailand. Sample: The sample was 67.9% (n=19) male with an age range from 22-47 years and a mean of 30.64 years. The mean score on the Piper Fatigue Scale before intervention was high (M=95.98; SD=26.73) and the mean Pain Descriptor Intensity Scale was low (M=8.64; SD=-6.05). Methods: Research nurses were trained in the procedures of true foot reflexology and mimic foot reflexology. Each procedure required 30 minutes (15 minutes per leg). Patients had either true or mimic reflexology once a day for four days, each receiving a total of two session of each procedure in random order. The outcome variables included self-report of fatigue and pain and vital signs pre and post treatment. Results: There were significant differences between the true foot and mimic reflexology on the fatigue and pain descriptive intensity scale, but not on a 1-item numeric pain intensity scale. The only vital sign difference was lower systolic blood pressure but the difference was not clinically meaningful. Conclusion True foot reflexology may offer a low cost, effective nursing intervention to reduce the symptom of fatigue and pain for hospitalized AIDS patients. The numeric pain intensity item was reduced in both groups, but not significantly, and this may be due to an inadequate power in the study to detect a potential difference. Foot reflexology is a way to enhance the nurse patient interrelationship. It offers a strategy to fulfill the goals for human touch and holistic nursing care. It can be performed at any location, is non-invasive, and does not interfere with patients' privacy. Foot reflexology can also be taught to family members and become part of family self-care for people living with HIV/AIDS.