Background: The pain caused by surgery is one of the major problems of the patients. Therefore, pain reduction through using noninvasive and simple methods is one of the nursing priorities. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of reflexology massage on pain intensity in the patients following the abdominal surgery.
Methods: This clinical trial was conducted on 90 patients undergoing abdominal surgery, referring to the Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran, Iran, in 2016. The participants were selected using the purposive sampling technique, and then randomly divided into three groups of 30 cases. The a 30-minute session of reflexology and simple massage were applied by the researcher for the first and second groups, respectively, after transferring the patients to the ward and regaining full consciousness. The pain was measured immediately, 10 min, and 24 h after the massage (30 min after the pre-test) using the visual analogue scale. The data analysis was performed in the SPSS version 19, using the one-way and repeated measures ANOVA as well as Chi-square test.
Results: According to the results of this study, 24 h after the intervention, the foot reflexology group had lower mean score of pain intensity (1.9±1.6), compared to the simple massage (3.3±1.64) and control groups (3.8±02) (P<0.001). The decrease in the pain score was significant between the groups only 10 min and 24 h after the intervention (P<0.001)
Conclusion: As the findings of the present study indicated, the reflexology massage could alleviate the pain in the patients after abdominal surgery. Given the simple and non-invasive nature of this method, it could be used to reduce the pain in the patients along with other healthcare measures.