Background: Reflexology may help induce labour and reduce pain during childbirth. Fear of pain associated with childbirth leads to increase in the irregular use of cesarean method.
Purpose: This study was performed to evaluate the effect of reflexology on relieving labour pain and assess the recipient's opinion regarding foot reflexology.
Setting: The study taken place in the labour room, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kerala, South India.
Participants: 50 primigravida patients experiencing labour.
Research Design: A quasi-experimental study design was used. Subjects were selected by convenience sampling technique with the first 25 patients allocated to the experimental group and the successive 25 primigravida mothers to a time-control group, to avoid data contamination.
Intervention: Intervention consisted of foot reflexology applied by a trained therapist to five pressure points of both feet that correspond to the uterus. Total intervention time lasted 20 minutes. Control group rested quietly for 20 minutes to serve as a time control.
Main Outcome Measures: Pain associated with labour was recorded on a visual analogue scale immediately prior to intervention, and at 20- and 40-minutes postintervention. Patient satisfaction with reflexology treatment was recorded.
Results: Mean baseline pain score in foot reflexology group was significantly reduced across the study timeframe relative to control group ( < .001). Post hoc tests confirmed a reduction in labour pain at both the 20-min ( < .001, 95%CI 0.764-1.796) and 40-min ( < .001, 95%CI 0.643-1.677) time points. Eighty-one per cent of patients would recommend reflexology during labour.
Conclusion: The findings showed that foot reflexology was effective in relief of labour pain, with a high degree of patient satisfaction in primigravida mothers.
M. Mohan and Linda Varghese, “Effect of Foot Reflexology on Reduction of Labour Pain Among Primigravida Mothers.”, International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 21-29, 2021.