The Effect of Foot Massage by Mother on the Severity of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms in Children Aged 6–12

Zahra Asadi, Fereshteh Shakibaei, Mohammad Mazaheri, Soheila Jafari-Mianaei


Background: Various pharmacological and non‑pharmacological approaches have been proposed to control the symptoms of Attention‑Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of foot massage by a mother on the severity of ADHD symptoms in children.

Materials and Methods: This study was a randomized controlled trial conducted on 56 children who referred to psychiatric clinics affiliated to Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran, 2018. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups of intervention and control. In the intervention group, after giving massage therapy training to the mother, the mother massaged her child’s foot three times a week for 1 month. The data were collected using the ADHD questionnaire. Data were analyzed using inferential and descriptive statistics (independent t‑test, paired t‑test, Mann‑Whitney test, and Chi‑square test).

Results: Comparison of the mean score of ADHD symptoms, after the intervention, showed a significant difference between the two groups in terms of the dimensions of the memory and attention deficit (t47 =3.42, p = 0.001), lack of responsibility and organization (t47 =7.16, p < 0.001), lack of cooperation with others (t47 =5.23, p < 0.001), and the total score of symptom severity (t47 =3.78, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Massage therapy is affordable and low‑cost care that together with pharmacotherapy programs can reduce some symptoms of ADHD.


Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, child, Iran, massage, mothers

Full Text:



Sadock BJ, Sadock VA, Ruiz P. Kaplan and Sadock's Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry. 11th ed. New York: Wolters Kluwer; 2015

Arjmandi S, Sayehmiri K. Prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among primary school children according to teachers and parents’ report: Systematic review and meta analysis study. J Fundam Ment Health 2015;17:213-21.

Caprì T, Martino G, Giannatiempo S, Semino M, Fabio RA. Attention, problem solving and decision making in adult subjects with ADHD. J Clin Dev Psychol 2019;14:1-9.

Forssman L, Eninger L, Tillman CM, Rodriguez A, Bohlin G. Cognitive functioning and family risk factors in relation to symptom behaviors of ADHD and ODD in adolescents. J Atten Disord 2012;16:284-94.

Kowsary L, Alizadeh H, Alizadeh H. A comparative study on social skills in primary students with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. J Psychol Stud 2010;6:109-34.[persion]

Zarei S, Sharif F, Alavi Shooshtari A, Vossoughi M. The effect of stress management program on mental health of the mothers of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. J Nurs Educ 2015;3:58-67.[persion]

Coghill D, Soutullo C, d’Aubuisson C, Preuss U, Lindback T, Silverberg M, et al. Impact of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder on the patient and family: Results from a European survey. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Mental Health 2008;2:31.

Sibley MH, Kuriyan AB, Evans SW, Waxmonsky JG, Smith BH. Pharmacological and psychosocial treatments for adolescents with ADHD: An updated systematic review of the literature. Clin Psychol Rev 2014;34:218-32.

Lambez B, Harwood A, Golumbic EZ, Rassovsky Y. Non pharmacological interventions for cognitive difficulties in ADHD: A systematic review and meta analysis. J Psychiatr Res 2019;120:40-55.

Quandt SA, Verhoef MJ, Arcury TA, Lewith GT, Steinsbekk A, Kristoffersen AE, et al. Development of an international questionnaire to measure use of complementary and alternative medicine (I CAM Q). J Altern Complement Med 2009;15:331-9.

Field T. Complementary and Alternative Therapies Research: American Psychological Association. 1st ed. Washington: American Psychological Association (APA); 2009.

Fritz S. Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage. 6th ed. St.Louis: Elsevier; Mosby; 2013.

Field T, Hernandez Reif M, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. Int J Neurosci 2005;115:1397-413.

Cutshall SM, Wentworth LJ, Engen D, Sundt TM, Kelly RF, Bauer BA. Effect of massage therapy on pain, anxiety, and tension in cardiac surgical patients: A pilot study. Complement Therap Clin Pract 2010;16:92-5.

Hockenbery MJ, Wilson D. Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children. 10th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier, Mosby; 2015.

Zeinali J, Mirhaghjou SN, Mirzaei M, Alhani F, Kazem Nezhad Leili E, Dehghani M. The effect of family centered care on meeting parental information needs of hospitalized children. J Holist Nurs Midwifery 2012;22:30-7.[persion].

Casanelia L, Stelfox D. Foundation of Massage. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2010.

Fritz S. Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage. 4th ed. St.Louis: Elsevier; 2016.

Michalak M. The use of carrier oils in aromatherapy massage and their effect on skin. Arch Physiother Glob Res 2018;22:23 31.

Savari K. Construction and validation of questionnaires used for the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity. Q Educ Meas 2012;3:65-80.

Jalali N, Eslami Shahrbabaki M, Sahebozamani M. The Effect of exercise program in reducing symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children. Iran J Psychiatry Clin Psychol 2015;20:309-16.[persion]

Kangarlou M, Lotfi Kashani F, Vaziri S. Investigating the effects of parents training on decreasing behavioral problems of children suffering from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Med Sci J 2012;22:216-20.[persion]

Sadat Hoseini A, Dehghan Nayeri N, Mehran A, Pour Esmael Z, Azimnejad M. Effect of body massage prior to invasive procedures on anxiety level among Children. Hayat 2011;16:31- 8.[persion].

Chen SC, Yu BY, Suen LK, Yu J, Ho FY, Yang JJ, et al. Massagetherapy for the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivitydisorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents: A systematicreview and meta analysis. Complement Ther Med 2018;1:389-99.

Dane S, Welcome MO. A case study: Effects of foot reflexotherapy on ADHD symptoms and enuresis nocturia in a child with ADHD and enuresis nocturia. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2018;1:139-41.

Matory P, Vanaki Z, Zare Z, Mehrzad V, Dehghan M. Investigation of the effects of therapeutic touch on intensity of anticipatory and acute induced nausea in breast cancer women undergoing chemotherapy in Isfahan. Complement Med J 2013;3:585-94.[persion]


  • There are currently no refbacks.