Introduction: Research suggests that reflexology stimulates the release of endorphins and is effective for the control of pain. The aim of study was to determine the effect of foot reflexology on the levels of pain, comfort and beta endorphins in patients who had undergone liver transplantation.
Methods: This randomized controlled study was conducted between October 2019–April 2020 on adult patients who received a liver transplantation at a Liver Transplant Institute in Turkey.The sample consisted of 120 patients randomized to receive either reflexology or routine care. Data collected included; Patient Information , a Numerical Pain Scale, Perianesthesia Comfort Scale and Beta Endorphin Level Registration Form. Prior to receiving foot reflexology, pain, comfort and beta endorphin levels of patients were determined. Reflexology was applied by the researcher for 30 minutes. Pain, comfort and beta endorphin levels were determined immediately after foot reflexology. The patients in the control group were tested at the same time intervals without any application other than the routine clinical protocol.
Results: After applying foot reflexology, the intervention group showed a statistically significant decrease in pain level compared to the control group (Cohen’s d = 1.95, 95% confidence interval (CI): −-2.7261 to −1.8738; p < 0.001). Both beta endorphin and comfort levels for both intervention and control groups increased statistically post test compared to the initial test (p < 0.05). However, although the increase in beta endorphin and comfort levels was observed to be higher in the intervention group this was not significantly different to the controls.
Conclusion: Pain levels of the patients who received foot reflexology decreased more than for those patients who did not receive reflexology, and their beta endorphin and comfort levels increased more. Reflexology could be used as a non pharmacological treatment option offered in post-operative nursing care.
Keywords: Foot Refloxology, Foot, Reflexology, Pain, Post-Operative Nursing Care, Beta Endorphins , Liver Transplantation.