Foot massage. A nursing intervention to modify the distressing symptoms of pain and nausea in patients hospitalized with cancer

Cancer Nurs. 2000 Jun;23(3):237-43. doi: 10.1097/00002820-200006000-00012.


This article describes the findings of an empirical study on the use of foot massage as a nursing intervention in patients hospitalized with cancer. The study was developed from the earlier work of Ferrell-Torry and Glick (1992). In a sample of 87 subjects, a 10-minute foot massage (5 minutes per foot) was found to have a significant immediate effect on the perceptions of pain, nausea, and relaxation when measured with a visual analog scale. The use of foot massage as a complementary method is recommended as a relatively simple nursing intervention for patients experiencing nausea or pain related to the cancer experience. Further research into its effectiveness in the management of these symptoms by the family at home is warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Foot*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage*
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Relaxation Therapy