To investigate whether reflexology has an effect on the physiological signs of anxiety and level of sedation in patients receiving mechanically ventilated support, a single blinded, randomized controlled design with repeated measures was used in the intensive care unit of a university hospital in Turkey. Patients (n = 60) aged between 18 and 70 years and were hospitalized in the intensive care unit and receiving mechanically ventilated support. Participants were randomized to a control group or an intervention group. The latter received 30 minutes of reflexology therapy on their feet, hands, and ears for 5 days. Subjects had vital signs taken immediately before the intervention and at the 10th, 20th, and 30th minutes of the intervention. In the collection of the data, “American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Sedation Assessment Scale” was used. The reflexology therapy group had a significantly lower heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and respiratory rate than the control group. A statistically significant difference was found between the averages of the scores that the patients included in the experimental and control groups received from the agitation, anxiety, sleep, and patient-ventilator synchrony subscales of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Sedation Assessment Scale. Reflexology can serve as an effective method of decreasing the physiological signs of anxiety and the required level of sedation in patients receiving mechanically ventilated support. Nurses who have appropriate training and certification may include reflexology in routine care to reduce the physiological signs of anxiety of patients receiving mechanical ventilation.
İzmir Katip Çelebi University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Çiğli, İzmir, Turkey (Dr Korhan); Fundamental of Nursing Department, Ege University Nursing Faculty, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey (Dr Khorshid); and Algology Department, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey (Dr Uyar).
Correspondence: Esra Akin Korhan, PhD, İzmir Katip Çelebi University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Çiğli, İzmir, Turkey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This research was supported by a grant from the Ege University Research Foundation.
The authors extend their sincere thanks to all the people who participated in this study so willingly.
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.
EK, LK, and MU were responsible for the study conception and design and for the drafting of the manuscript. EK performed the data collection and the data analysis. EK, LK, and MU made critical revisions to the paper.