The effect of foot reflexology on fatigue, pain, and sleep quality in lymphoma patients: A clinical trial

Published:October 24, 2019DOI:


      • Foot reflexology reduced fatigue in lymphoma patients.
      • Foot reflexology also decreased general and physical fatigue and improved reduced activity.
      • Foot reflexology relieved pain intensity in lymphoma patients.
      • Foot reflexology improved sleep quality in lymphoma patients.



      This study aimed to evaluate the effect of reflexology on fatigue, pain, and sleep quality in lymphoma patients.


      This study was a randomized clinical trial with pre-post design. Seventy-two lymphoma patients admitted in hematology wards affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran in 2018 were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Patients in the intervention group underwent foot reflexology for five consecutive days. The control group received usual care. The data were collected by the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, a numerical pain scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality index. Data analysis was done by the SPSS software, version 21 using ANCOVA, paired t-test, and Wilcoxon test.


      At baseline, both intervention and control groups were the same in terms of fatigue, pain, and sleep quality (p > 0.05). However, a significant difference was found between the two groups regarding fatigue, pain, and sleep quality after the intervention (all p < 0.05).


      The results showed that reflexology could reduce fatigue and pain and improve the quality of sleep in patients with lymphoma. Considering the effectiveness of reflexology in lymphoma patients, healthcare workers including nurses are recommended to use this complementary therapy to reduce fatigue and pain and improve sleep quality in lymphoma patients.


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