The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Hospital Anxiety and Depression in Female Older Adults: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2019 Aug 30;12(3):16-21. eCollection 2019 Sep.


Background: Patients with cardiovascular diseases usually suffer from hospital anxiety and depression.

Aim: This study aimed to investigate the effect of foot reflexology massage on anxiety and depression in female older adults suffering from acute coronary syndrome.

Participants: Ninety older women with acute coronary syndrome were randomly assigned into intervention and control groups (n=45 in each group).

Research design: A randomized controlled trial.

Intervention: The intervention and control groups received foot reflexology massage and routine care, respectively.

Main outcomes measures: The levels of anxiety and depression were evaluated using the hospital's anxiety and depression scale (HADS) before and immediately after foot reflexology massage.

Results: Foot reflexology massage reduced both anxiety (F(1.44)=19.11, p = .001) and depression (F(1.44)=16.76, p = .001) in acute coronary patients relative to control patients. The intervention had a large effect on hospital anxiety and depression.

Conclusions: Foot reflexology massage is an efficient and safe intervention for alleviating psychological responses among female older adults suffering from acute coronary syndrome during hospitalization.

Keywords: acute coronary syndrome; anxiety; depression; hospital; reflexology.