A Randomized-Controlled Trial Examining the Effects of Reflexology on Anxiety of Patients Undergoing Coronary Angiography

Nurs Midwifery Stud. 2013 Sep; 2(3): 3–9

Mehdi Molavi Vardanjani, Negin Masoudi Alavi, Narges Sadat Razavi,  Mohammad Aghajani,  Esmail Azizi-Fini, and Seied Morteza Vaghefi

Background: The anxiety reduction before coronary angiography has clinical advantages and is one of the objectives of nursing. Reflexology is a non-invasive method that has been used in several clinical situations. Applying reflexology might have effect on the reduction of anxiety before coronary angiography.

Objectives: The aim of this randomized clinical trial was to investigate the effect of reflexology on anxiety among patients undergoing coronary angiography.

Patients and Methods: This trial was conducted in Shahid Beheshti Hospital, in Kashan, Iran. One hundred male patients who were undergoing coronary angiography were randomly enrolled into intervention and placebo groups. The intervention protocol was included 30 minutes of general foot massage and the stimulation of three reflex points including solar plexus, pituitary gland, and heart. The placebo group only received the general foot massage. Spielbergers state trait anxiety inventory was used to assess the anxiety experienced by patients. Data was analyzed using Man-Witney, Wilcoxon and Chi-square tests. The stepwise multiple regressions used to analyze the variables that are involved in anxiety reduction.

Results: The mean range of anxiety decreased from 53.24 to 45.24 in reflexology group which represented 8 score reduction (P = 0.0001). The reduction in anxiety was 5.9 score in placebo group which was also significant (P = 0.0001). The anxiety reduction was significantly higher in reflexology group (P = 0.014). The stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that doing reflexology can explain the 7.5% of anxiety reduction which made a significant model.

Conclusions: Reflexology can decrease the anxiety level before coronary angiography. Therefore, reflexology before coronary angiography is recommended.

Keywords: Foot massage, Anxiety, Coronary angiography