Effect of reflexology on the constipation status of elderly people

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Inkaya B., Tuzer H.

Yonago Acta Medica, vol.63, no.2, pp.115-121, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.33160/yam.2020.05.007
  • Journal Name: Yonago Acta Medica
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.115-121
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


© 2020 Tottori University Medical Press.Background The current literature shows that one of the alternative therapies used to control constipation is reflexology. This study was conducted to assess the effect of reflexology on the constipation status of elderly people. Methods This study was randomized clinical trial conducted from at the private nursing home in the Ankara Province. At the nursing home, 60 eligible elderly people were randomly assigned into experimental (n = 30) and control (n = 30) groups. The experimental group received foot reflexology massage for 1 month three times per week for 30 min. Reflexology was initiated from the patient’s right foot. The foot was relaxed primarily by applying effleurage followed by shaking, rotation, and stretching methods. The practice ended by applying solar plexus pressure on both feet. For elderly people in the control group foot surface massage without pressure was applied to simulate the interventions similar to the experimental group. The scale scores before and after reflexology were noted for the experimental group, and those for the control group, which did not receive any reflexology massage, were also determined Results After the implementation of reflexology, the rate of emptying bowels on alternate days increased in the experimental group as opposed to that in the control group (P < 0.001). In this study, reflexology was found to improve the quality of life of the elderly and decrease the severity of constipation. Conclusion Foot reflexology massage was found to be effective in relieving the constipation of elderly people. Therefore, reflexology is recommended as part of nursing care to reduce the constipation status of elderly people.