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Old 04-13-2008, 01:31 PM
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Default Reflexology May Aid Dementia Sufferers

Not a cure but a possible tool to help improve the quality of life ...

Objective: This experimental, repeated-measures, crossover design study with nursing home residents examined the efficacy of reflexology in individuals with mild-to-moderate stage dementia. Specifically, the study tested whether a weekly reflexology intervention contributed to the resident outcomes of reduced physiologic distress, reduced pain, and improved affect.

Setting: The study was conducted at a large nursing home in suburban Philadelphia.

Sample: The sample included 21 nursing home residents with mild-to-moderate stage dementia randomly assigned to two groups.

Interventions: The first group received 4 weeks of weekly reflexology treatments followed by 4 weeks of a control condition of friendly visits. The second group received 4 weeks of friendly visits followed by 4 weeks of weekly reflexology.

Outcome measures: The primary efficacy endpoint was reduction of physiologic distress as measured by salivary α-amylase. The secondary outcomes were observed pain (Checklist of Nonverbal Pain Indicators) and observed affect (Apparent Affect Rating Scale).

Results: The findings demonstrate that when receiving the reflexology treatment condition, as compared to the control condition, the residents demonstrated significant reduction in observed pain and salivary α-amylase. No adverse events were recorded during the study period.

Conclusions: This study provides preliminary support for the efficacy of reflexology as a treatment of stress in nursing home residents with mild-to-moderate stage dementia.
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