Is Foot Reflexology Effective in Reducing Colic Symptoms in Infants: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial
Objectives: Infantile colic and its accompanying crying represent a major source of stress and have negative physiological, emotional and psychological effects on infants and parents. The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of foot reflexology for reducing symptoms of infantile colic.
Design: The study was conducted as a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with a sample population of 45 infants diagnosed with infantile colic.
Methods: Simple randomization was used to select a reflexology (study) group (n = 20) and a placebo group of infants with colic (n = 25). The parents and biostatistician were blinded to group assessment. Foot reflexology, or stimulating reflex points on the foot, was implemented with the reflexology group. Placebo foot reflexology, or noneffective touch, was used with the placebo group. Over a two-week period, both interventions were performed four times for 20 minutes each time by the researcher. The researcher collected data using the information form, the Infant Colic Scale (ICS), and a diary of daily crying duration.
Results: The trial ended with the completion of the data. In each group, 20 infants were studied. The means of the Infant Colic Scale scores and daily crying duration were significantly lower in the foot-reflexology group than in the placebo foot-reflexology group (p < .001). Infants with colic in the reflexology group cried less and experienced fewer symptoms than before treatment.
Conclusions: Foot reflexology is a non-invasive and safe nursing intervention that is effective for reducing crying duration and symptoms in infants with colic.
Keywords: Clinical Trial, Complementary Therapies, Infantile Colic, Nurses, Reflexology