The effects of foot reflexology massage on anxiety in patients following coronary artery bypass graft surgery: a randomized controlled trial

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014 Feb;20(1):42-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2013.10.006. Epub 2013 Oct 25.


Objective: To examine the effects of foot reflexology massage on anxiety in patients following CABG surgery.

Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 80 patients who met the inclusion criteria were conveniently sampled and randomly allocated to the experimental and control groups after they were matched on age and gender. On the days following surgery, the experimental group received foot reflexology massage on their left foot 20 min a day for 4 days, while the control group was given a gentle foot rub with oil for one minute. Anxiety was measured using the short-form of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Visual Analogue Scale-Anxiety.

Results: Both measurement instruments confirmed a significant decrease in anxiety following the foot reflexology massage.

Conclusion: The significant decrease in anxiety in the experimental group following the foot reflexology massage supports the use of this complementary therapy technique for the relief of anxiety.

Keywords: Anxiety; Coronary artery bypass graft; Foot reflexology massage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / physiopathology*
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy*
  • Visual Analog Scale