A retrospective cohort study exploring the relationship between antenatal reflexology and intranatal outcomes.
McNeill JA., Alderdice FA., McMurray F.
The integration of reflexology into midwifery care has become more common in recent years as a result of a developing interest in alternative and complementary therapies and also due to the integration of new skills into midwifery practice. The objective of this study was to investigate the association of antenatal reflexology with different outcomes in the intranatal period. The key variables of interest were onset of labour, duration of labour, analgesia used and mode of delivery. The findings showed there was no significant difference in the onset of labour or duration of labour between the two groups. The group who had four or more reflexology treatments had a reduced length of labour but this was not statistically significant. There was a significant difference in the use of Entonox between the two groups with the reflexology group having a lower uptake. Fewer women in the reflexology group had a normal labour with a higher percentage of women having a forceps delivery. In conclusion the only statistically significant difference between groups was less use of Entonox in the reflexology group. Further research requires standardized treatment and outcome measurement using prospective randomized designs with large samples.