Clinical Research Through a Grant from NIH


Improving quality of life during cancer treatment via reflexology. 

Three multi-site, longitudinal, randomized clinical trials.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Principal Investigators-
Gwen Wyatt, PhD, RN, FAAN
Alla Sikorskii, PhD
(Michigan State University, College of Nursing)

Lead Reflexologist- Sarah Preusker

Study 1:“Reflexology: An intervention for Advanced Breast Cancer”

Completed 2010

Basic results:

·         Reflexology is safe.

·         Reflexology is a specialized therapy; it is not foot massage.

·         Significant improvement in dyspnea (shortness of breath) and ability to function in everyday activities such as walking up a flight of stairs or carry a bag of groceries.


Study 2:“Home-Based Symptom Management via Reflexology for Breast Cancer patients”

Completed April, 2018

Basic Results-

The total symptom scores showed significant improvement after reflexology. This total symptom improvement was led by the strength of improvements in fatigue and pain. The list of symptoms below were the ones showing improvement in the total symptom score.

·         Pain

·         Nausea/vomiting

·         Disturbed sleep

·         Distress or being upset

·         Shortness of breath

·         Difficulty remembering things

·         Lack of appetite

·         fatigue

·         Dry mouth or sore mouth

·         feeling sad

·         Numbness and tingling

·         Diarrhea/constipation


Study 3: “Using SMART Design to Improve Symptom Management Strategies Among Cancer Patients”

This study is currently underway. 2015-2020

Over 200 dyads have enrolled thus far.

It was completed in 2020. Cancer Clinics in Michigan, Chicago and Arizona are working with this study.​