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Comparison of Effectiveness of Reflexology and Abdominal Massage on Constipation among Orthopedic Patients: A single-blind Randomized Controlled Trial

Authors: Alehe Seyyedrassoli, AkramGhahramanian, Azim Azizi, Sakineh Goljarian, Mark Gillespie and Solmaz Aydinferd

Int J Med Res Health Sci.33-40 | pdf PDF Full Text

Constipation is one of the most common health problems presenting in patients hospitalized within orthopedic
settings. This present study was done with the aim of determining the effect of foot reflexology and abdominal
massage on constipation severity. This study is a single -blind randomized controlled trial completed using 3 groups
comprising a total of 60 patients hospitalized in the orthopedic wards of shohada hospital in the Northwest
Azerbaijan- Iran. One of the intervention groups involved the use of foot reflexology and in the other abdominal
massage was carried out once daily for 6 days. An assessor blinded to the group allocation measured and recorded
constipation severity before the intervention, then daily from day 1 until day 6 post intervention by constipation
evaluation scale. For data analysis, ANOVA, ANCOVA and repeated measurement ANOVA tests was used in SPSS
version 16. There was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups in constipation severity
over the first two days (p>0. 05) built from the 3rd until the 6th days after the intervention, the difference was
significant (p<0.05). The effect size was between 33% and 49% and significant. Compared to the abdominal
massage group the reflexology group showed a greater reduction in severity of constipation over days 3 to 6 of
active treatment, but the difference between them was not significant (P>0.05). After modification and deleting
covariate variables, again, there was a significant difference between intervention groups with a control group from
day 3 until day 6 of the intervention(p<0. 05), (effect size from 34% to 50%). Time had a significant effect on
constipation severity reduction during the study, meaning that constipation, severe in the intervention groups
decreased significantly as the study progressed (p<0. 05). The positive effects of foot reflexology and abdominal
massage on the severity of constipation in hospitalized patients means that both can be used as economical and noninvasive nursing interventions for the relief of constipation.

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