J Korean Acad Nurs.  2002 Oct;32(5):716-726.

Effects of Hand Reflexology on Physiological Emotional Responses and Immunity in the Patients with Chronic illness; Chronic renal failure patients and Cancer patients

  • 1Sungkyunkwan University, Korea.
  • 2Seoul Women's College of Nursing, Korea.
  • 3Samsung Medical Center, Korea.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of hand reflexology on the physiological?emotional responses and immunity of the patients with chronic illness. This study looked specifically at patients with chronic renal failure(CRF) and cancer patients. METHOD: This study was designed as a quasi-experimental nonequivalent control group pre and post test. Subjects were 54 patients who received dialysis and chemotherapy in one hospital. Thirty-one patients were assigned to the experimental group and 23 to the control group. The hand reflexology was applied to both hands of the experiment group for ten minutes each time, 5 times during three days. For data collection, physiological lab levels, immune cells of blood and questionnaires for emotional responses were measured before and after the program. RESULT: BT of the experiment group was decreased significantly on both of the 1st and the 5th application. PR and BP were decreased significantly on the 1st times, but not 5th times. Hb levels of the experimental group were significantly increased. And emotional responses, vigor and mood scores of the experiment group were significantly increased. B cell and CD19 were increased significantly on the experiment group. Suppressor T cell and NK cell showed significant decrease after the program, but no significant differences between the groups.
We have found that the hand reflexology helps the chronic patients to improve physiological emotional responses and the immune reaction. Through this result, the hand reflexology is effective as a intervention of psychoneuroimmunologic function.


Hand reflexology; Physiological emotional responses; Immunity

MeSH Terms

Chronic Disease*
Surveys and Questionnaires
Drug Therapy
Kidney Failure, Chronic*
Killer Cells, Natural
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