Research Output

The Effectiveness of Reflexology as an Adjunct to Standard Treatment in Childhood Idiopathic Constipation: A Single Blind Randomised Controlled Trial.

  Constipation is common in childhood, rarely life threatening and' therefore might be
expected to have little impact on health care provision. The reality is somewhat
different, with many children requiring medical and nursing management for this
condition that causes great misery and discomfort. Many families consider the use of
complementary and or alternative medicine (CAM) as a treatment option when
conventional treatment 'fails'. The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine
(CAM) in paediatrics is increasing and is popular with parents/carers but there is
currently little evidence to support its use in general and no randomised clinical trials
investigating the use of reflexology in children in particular.
The thesis presents the development of a randomised controlled study to investigate the
effectiveness of reflexology when taught to parents and delivered as adjunct to standard
treatment. It includes a systematic review of the literature pertaining to childhood
idiopathic constipation and reflexology; the rationale for the choice of method and the
development of the clinical trial. The study that was undertaken compared the way in
which children with chronic idiopathic constipation (Cre) respond to reflexology
treatment or foot massage when these treatments are taught to their parents and carers,
and used as part of their standard medical treatment. The optimal way to manage
childhood idiopathic constipation is still unknown however this trial has demonstrated
that reflexology has a role in improving outcomes for children when taught to parents
and used as an adjunct to standard treatment. This is the only RCT of reflexology as
practised by parents in paediatric practice to date and further well-designed studies are

  • Type:


  • Date:

    28 February 2007

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.73 Nursing


Gordon, J. S. Randomised Controlled Trial. (Thesis)


Constipation; Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM); reflexology; childhood idiopathic constipation;

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