Reflexology for Symptom Relief in Patients With Cancer

Susie Wilkinson, Karen STRICKLAND, Maureen Gambles, Lesley Storey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Complementary therapies are increasingly being used in hospices and hospitals
alongside orthodox treatments in an attempt to improve patients’ emotional,
spiritual, psychological, and physical well-being. An average of 31% of UK
patients with cancer use some form of complementary therapy. Many UK cancer
centers, out-patient units, and hospices are providing complementary services.
There is strong anecdotal evidence that complementary therapies assist in
the palliation of physical and psychological symptoms. This systematic review
examines the research evidence base for the effectiveness of reflexology in cancer care. The study reports the results of a systematic review following the Cochrane principles of systematic reviewing. No meta-analysis was possible. Studies were retrieved from a comprehensive search of electronic databases from their start dates. An initial search was carried out in 2003 and updated in 2005 to 2006. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials, controlled before and after studies, and interrupted time-series studies. Participants were adults with a diagnosis of cancer, receiving care in any healthcare setting. Interventions were limited to reflexology carried out by a qualified therapist as distinguished from another healthcare professional carrying out a reflexology intervention. Outcome measures were patient-reported levels of physical and psychological indices of symptom distress and quality of life (measured using validated assessment tools).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354
Number of pages360
JournalCancer Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Reflexology for Symptom Relief in Patients With Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this