Impact of Foot Reflexology on Anxiety Levels of Women in Labor


eMediNexus    07 July 2018

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine evaluated the effect of foot reflexology on the anxiety levels of women during labor. Overall, 154 nulliparous pregnant women were recruited in the study. Foot reflexology was applied once to the women in the experimental group at cervical dilation of 3-4 cm. The treatment was applied to the right foot and left foot reflex points for 15 min, for a total of 30 min. The data were collected using the "Pregnant Women Introductory Information Form" and the "Spielberger State-trait Anxiety Inventory" (STAI TX-1). The mean scores of the STAI TX-1 were used to analyze the results. The mean STAI TX-1 scores were measured before reflexology, in the latent and active phases of labor and early in postpartum period (four times). The mean STAI TX-1 scores were higher in the experimental group than in the control group. Additionally, the mean STAI TX-1 scores postreflexology application (cervical dilation 3-4 cm) and during the active phase of the labor (cervical dilation 6-8 cm) among women in the experimental group were lower than those of the control group. There was no statistically significant difference between the mean STAI TX-1 scores pre- and postreflexology in the experimental group. Furthermore, the mean STAI TX-1 scores in the early postpartum period were similar in both the groups. Foot reflexology thus appeared to have a positive effect in lowering the total anxiety scores of the pregnant women.

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