Comparing the Effect of Foot and Hand Reflexology on Pain Severity after Appendectomy: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Hosein Taheri, Vahid Naseri Salahshour, Ahmadreza Abedi, Mahbobeh Sajadi


Background: Appendicitis is one of the main causes of acute pain. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of foot and hand reflexology on pain severity following appendectomy.

Materials and Methods: This clinical trial was conducted on 38 patients undergoing appendectomy in Alimoradian Hospital of Nahavand, Iran, in 2016. The samples were selected using convenience sampling, and then, randomly assigned to hand and foot reflexology groups via simple random sampling. In the foot reflexology group, the dorsal and plantar surfaces of the feet were lubricated using natural olive oil for five minutes. Next, reflexology was done by applying pressure to the appendix reflex area for 20 minutes. The same intervention was applied in the hand reflexology group. The severity of pain was measured using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) before the intervention and one, three, and 24 hours after the intervention. Data were analyzed using Chi‑square, One‑way Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA), and repeated measures ANOVA.

Results: The results of one‑way ANOVA showed no significant difference in the mean pain severity between the two groups (p = 0.771), whereas pain severity in the foot reflexology group was significantly lower than that of the hand reflexology group after the intervention (t = 1.63, p = 0.001).

Conclusions: The results of this study showed that foot reflexology was more effective than hand reflexology in pain alleviation.


Abdominal pain, appendectomy, Iran, nursing, pain

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