Purpose: This study was aimed to identify the effects of a self-foot reflexology massage on depression, stress responses and functions of the immune system of middle-aged women.
Method: This study was a one group pretest-posttest experimental design and the data was collected from August 1st, 2004 to May 31st, 2005. The subjects consisted of 46 middle-aged women (40 - 64 years) who were recruited from the Community Health Center in Busan city. Subjects were not treated for 4 weeks, subsequently they were trained in self foot reflexology massage for 2 weeks, and then they did their own daily for 6 weeks (2 days at the research center, 5 days at home). The outcome variables were measured 4 times, at baseline, pre training, after training, and after the intervention. The collected data was analyzed using repeated measure ANOVA by the SPSS/WIN program.
Result: There was a statistically significant difference in depression, perceived stress, systolic blood pressure, natural-killer cells and Ig G. However, there was not a statistically significant difference in diastolic blood pressure, pulse or serum cortisol.
Conclusion: These results suggest that a self-foot reflexology massage could be utilized as an effective nursing intervention to reduce depression and stress responses, and to strengthen immune systems in middle-aged women.