Background and Purpose: Patients undergoing kidney transplantation surgeries suffer from postoperative pain, fatigue, and sleep disorders. Therefore, it is necessary to use different interventions in addition to modern medicine to reduce their symptoms. Τhe present study aimed to investigate the effect of foot reflexology on pain, fatigue, and quality of sleep after
kidney transplantation surgery.
Materials and Methods: The study was a parallel randomized controlled trial. Patients admitted to the transplantation ward participated in the study. Fifty-three eligible patients were allocated into the foot reflexology group (n = 26) and the control group (n = 27) by using the stratified randomization method. Finally, 25 participants in each group finished the study. )e intervention group received foot reflexology for 30 minutes once a day for three consecutive days, and no reflexology was applied in the control group. )e intervention started on the second day after surgery. Pain, fatigue, and quality of sleep were measured on the first, second (before intervention), third, fourth, and eleventh days after surgery. Data were collected using visual analogue scale for measuring pain and fatigue and Verran and Snyder-Halpern sleep scale for measuring quality of sleep.
Results:In each group, 25 patients finished the study. )e mean pain score in the foot reflexology and control groups decreased from 9.44 ± 0.96 and 9.36 ± 0.91 on the day of surgery to 1.32 ± 0.94 and 4.32 ± 1.68 on the eleventh day after surgery, respectively. )e mean fatigue score in the reflexology and control groups decreased from 8.76 ± 1.27 and 8.6 ± 1.26 on the day of surgery to 1.24 ± 1.2 and 3.92 ± 1.63 on the eleventh day after surgery, respectively. )e mean sleep score in the foot reflexology and control groups increased from 33.38 ± 11.22 and 39.59 ± 12.8 on the day of surgery to 69.43 ± 12.8 and 56.27 ± 8.03 on the eleventh day after surgery, respectively. While pain, fatigue, and sleep quality scores improved in both groups, those in the intervention group showed significantly greater improvement compared with the control group (P < 0.001). No significant difference was found between the two groups in the use of acetaminophen on the first, second, third, fourth, and eleventh days after surgery (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Foot reflexology may reduce pain and fatigue and improve sleep quality of patients after kidney transplantation.