Effects of Reflexology on Pain in Patients With Fibromyalgia

Holist Nurs Pract. 2016 Nov/Dec;30(6):351-359. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000178.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of reflexology on pain intensity in patients with fibromyalgia, using an experimental repeated-measures design, and a convenience sample of 30 fibromyalgia inpatients. Thirty patients aged 18 to 70 years with fibromyalgia and hospitalized in the algology clinic were taken as a convenience sample. Patients received a total of 12 60-minute sessions of reflexology over a period of 6 consecutive weeks. Reflexology was carried out bilaterally on the hands and feet of patients at the reflex points relating to their pain at a suitable intensity and angle. Subjects had pain scores taken immediately before the intervention (0 minute), and at the 60th minute of the intervention. Data were collected over a 10-month period in 2012. The patients' mean pain intensity scores were reduced by reflexology, and this decrease improved progressively in the first and sixth weeks of the intervention, indicating a cumulative dose effect. The results of this study implied that the inclusion of reflexology in the routine care of patients with fibromyalgia could provide nurses with an effective practice for reducing pain intensity in these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fibromyalgia / complications*
  • Humans
  • Massage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult