Effects of Reflexology and Progressive Muscle Relaxation on Pain, Fatigue, and Quality of Life during Chemotherapy in Gynecologic Cancer Patients

Pain Manag Nurs. 2019 Feb;20(1):47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2018.03.001. Epub 2018 Dec 13.


Purpose: Our aim was to investigate the effect of reflexology and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) exercises on pain, fatigue, and quality of life (QoL) of gynecologic cancer patients during chemotherapy.

Methods: Eighty participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: reflexology, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) exercises, both (reflexology + PMR), or a control group. Data were collected with a general data collection form, Brief Pain and Fatigue inventories, and Multidimensional Quality-of-Life Scale-Cancer.

Results: In reflexology and reflexology + PMR groups, a significant decrease in pain severity and fatigue and an increase in QoL were found (p < .05). In the PMR alone group, pain severity and fatigue decreased significantly (p < .05), but there was no significant change identified in QOL (p > .05).

Conclusions: Reflexology and PMR exercises given to gynecologic cancer patients during chemotherapy were found to decrease pain and fatigue and increase QoL.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Fatigue / therapy
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / complications*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage / methods
  • Massage / standards*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Pain Management / standards
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Relaxation Therapy / methods
  • Relaxation Therapy / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires