Document Type : Original Article


MedicalSurgical Nursing, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran


BACKGROUND: Pruritus is a common skin manifestation in patients undergoing hemodialysis.
Pruritus has a negative impact on the quality of life of patients receiving hemodialysis. This study
was aimed to investigate the effect of foot reflexology massage on pruritus in hemodialysis patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A quasi‑experimental study was conducted on 90 hemodialysis
patients referred to Khatam‑al‑Anbiya and Ali‑Ebne Abi‑Taleb hospitals affiliated to Zahedan
University of Medical Sciences in 2019. Patients with moderate‑to‑severe pruritus scores obtained
from the Pruritus Severity Scale (PSS) were included in the study. They were randomly divided into
intervention and control groups using shuffling cards or envelopes. The intervention group received
nine sessions of foot reflexology massage 3 days a week for 20 min (10 min on each foot) with an
emphasis on the solar plexus point. The participants in both groups again completed the PSS 48 h
after the intervention. Data were analyzed using the SPSS version 24, independent t‑test, Chi‑square
test, and paired t‑test.
RESULTS: The results of this study demonstrated that foot reflexology massage significantly reduced
itching or pruritus in hemodialysis patients (P < 0.001). Pruritus scores in the control group were
statistically significant (P < 0.001). There was no significant statistically difference between the two
groups in terms of the pruritus scores before the intervention (P = 0.59).
CONCLUSION: Our findings showed that the foot reflexology massage could relieve itching or
pruritus in hemodialysis patients. It is, therefore, recommended that it can be used as an effective
intervention technique to alleviate itching in hemodialysis patients.


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