Randomized controlled trial of foot reflexology for patients with symptomatic idiopathic detrusor overactivity

  • Ho-Leung Jimmy Mak
  • Willy Cecilia Cheon
  • To Wong
  • Yu Sun John Liu
  • Wai Mei Anny Tong
Original Article


The aim of this study was to examine whether foot reflexology has beneficial effects on patients with idiopathic detrusor overactivity. One hundred and nine women with symptomatic idiopathic detrusor overactivity were randomized into either foot reflexology treatment group or nonspecific foot massage control group. The primary outcome measure was the change in the diurnal micturition frequency. There was significant change in the number of daytime frequency in the reflexology group when compared with the massage group (−1.90 vs −0.55, p = 0.029). There was also a decrease in the 24-h micturition frequency in both groups, but the change was not statistically significant (−2.80 vs −1.04 p = 0.055). In the reflexology group, more patients believed to have received “true” reflexology (88.9 vs 67.4%, p = 0.012). This reflects the difficulty of blinding in trials of reflexology. Larger scale studies with a better-designed control group and an improved blinding are required to examine if reflexology is effective in improving patients’ overall outcome.


Idiopathic detrusor overactivity Foot reflexology Foot massage 


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Copyright information

© International Urogynecology Journal 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ho-Leung Jimmy Mak
    • 1
  • Willy Cecilia Cheon
    • 1
  • To Wong
    • 1
  • Yu Sun John Liu
    • 1
  • Wai Mei Anny Tong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyQueen Elizabeth HospitalHong KongChina

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