The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Pain Severity Associated with Mediastinal Chest Drain Removal in Patients Undergoing Open- Heart Surgery

Document Type : Original Article


1 Critical Care and Emergency Nursing , Faculty of Nursing, Mansoura University, Egypt

2 Critical Care and Emergency Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Mansoura University, Egypt.

3 Cardiothoracic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Egypt.

4 Assist. Professor of Critical Care and Emergency Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Mansoura University, Egypt


Background: Mediastinal chest drain removal (MCDR) has been described as one of the worst experiences for
patients after cardiac surgery. However, patients report MCDR as an unpleasant and painful procedure that is poorly
controlled. Untreated pain may lead to several negative effects, longer rehabilitation, limited mobility, and other
complications. Therefore, introducing new modalities such as reflexology became an issue of concern for nursing. Aim:
This study aimed to investigate the effect of foot reflexology on pain severity associated with mediastinal chest drain
removal in patients undergoing open-heart surgery. Method: A quasi-experimental design was used to conduct this
study in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit at the cardiothoracic and vascular surgery center of Mansoura University.
A convenience sample of 80 patients was randomly assigned to foot reflexology group who received 45 minutes
reflexology session for both feet before and throughout MCDR procedure and control group who received the routine
intensive care unit care. Data were collected using numerical rating scale and critical care observation tool. Results: The
findings showed statistical significant differences between the studied groups concerning all physiological indicators (P
< 0.05). Moreover, a statistical significant decrease in pain level was observed in foot reflexology group compared to
the control group (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Foot reflexology is a safe technique and can significantly be used to reduce
pain associated with MCDR in patients undergoing open heart surgery. Recommendations: Nurses should incorporate
foot reflexology into their nursing practices to reduce pain associated with MCDR, achieve better outcomes, and
improve quality of care.