An integrative literature review of the utilisation of reflexology in adults with chronic disease / Elna Steenkamp.
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This is an integrative literature review of the utilisation of reflexology as complementary and alternative treatment modality in adults with chronic disease. Anecdotal evidence has claimed potential health benefits of reflexology for patients with various chronic diseases. In this study, selected databases that were accessible were searched using keywords such as reflexology therapy, zone therapy and combinations thereof. Databases such as SA Nexus, SAePublications, ProQuest, Web of Knowledge, EBSCOhost Platform, ScienceDirect, Cochrane Library and Google Advanced Scholar were searched for primary studies and reviews of primary studies from 2000 until the end of 2008 (N = 1171). Primary experimental and non-experimental studies in any language with an abstract in English were identified. Only studies that complied with the inclusion criteria were reviewed and appraised (n = 35) for study quality with appropriate tools from the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) and the American Dietetic Association's (ADA) Evidence analysis manual. Evidence extraction, analysis and synthesis were done to review available evidence by means of the evidence class rating and evidence grading of strength prescribed in the ADA's manual. Study findings represent a statistical significant reduction in the frequency of seizures of patients with intractable epilepsy, an improvement of sensory and urinary symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis and a clinical significant reduction of pain and anxiety in patients with cancer and fibromyalgia syndrome to increase overall well-being and quality of life. No statistical significant evidence was reported on benefits of reflexology for irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal symptoms, chronic low back pain and asthma. Thus there appears to be fair evidence of the effectiveness of reflexology, in addition clinical evidence supports the utilisation of reflexology to promote well-being and quality of life in adults with chronic disease.
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