The effect of reflexology upon spasticity and function among children with cerebral palsy who received physiotherapy: Three group randomised trial

Applied Nursing Research, Volume 36, August 2017, Pages 128-134

Filiz Özkan, Handan Zincir

Purpose: To assess the effectiveness of reflexology method upon spasticity and function among children with cerebral palsy who received physiotherapy.

Methods: A three group, randomised trial with blinded evaluator. Randomization was made sealed and opaque envelopes. 45 children with cerebral palsy who were trained at a Special Education and Rehabilitation Centre. In the reflexology and placebo group; a 20 min reflexology was performed twice a week in a total 24 sessions. In the control group; no intervention was done. Before and after the implementation; measurements of the participants were obtained. The data were collected using Gross Motor Function Measure, Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), Modified Tardieu Scale, Pediatric Functional Independence Scale, Pediatric Quality of Life Scale (PedsQL) and demographic data.

Results: A total of 45 children completed the study. The groups were homogeneous at baseline. Between right MAS Gastrocnemius muscle was a difference and right and left Soleus muscles was significant among the groups (p < 0.05). Also there was significant difference in between right and left Tardieu value in the legs; right M. Gastrocnemius V1,V3 and M. Soleus V1, V3 values; p < 0.001 and left Gastrocnemius V1 and M. Soleus V1, V3 values; p < 0.001. In Gross Motor Function Measure total scores and sitting position; in Pediatric Functional Independence Scale total scores, self-care and communication subscales (p < 0.05). But in terms of PedsQL was no statistically significant difference among the groups (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Reflexology with physiotherapy reduced spasticity in legs, improved gross motor functions, decreased dependency but led to no change in quality of life.

Keywords: Child with cerebral palsy, Spasticity, Reflexology, Pediatric quality of life, Gross Motor Function Measure, Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), Modified Tardieu Scale, Pediatric Functional Independence Scale, Pediatric Quality of Life Scale,