Effect of Feet Reflexology on Autism Symptoms and Constipation in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Azza Abdalla Ghoneim, Shimaa AbdElhady Badawy, Seham Farouk Ismael Mahedy


The autistic Spectrum Disorder represents specific distinguishable symptoms that have frequent concurrent conditions and constipation is the most frequent.  It requires an effective non-disturbing management. Reflexology is a widely used technique and documented as a useful nursing intervention. This study aimed to determine the effect of feet reflexology on autism symptoms and constipation in children with ASD. Subject and Methods: a quasi-experimental design was utilized and it conducted at the psychiatric outpatient clinic, Menoufia University hospital. A purposive sample of 30 children was recruited. Two instruments were utilized: Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) and Constipation Assessment Questionnaire (CAQ). Results: children had lower mean scores and severity of autism symptoms on post-intervention compared to pre-intervention speech/communication, sociability, sensory/cognitive, health/physical/behavior subdomains and the total ATEC score. The mean total score of constipation symptoms was lower on post-intervention compared to pre-intervention (35.93±16.04, 40.23±17.51 respectively) and there was a significant correlation (R=0.858) at the 0.01 level of significance between constipation and the severity of autism symptoms on post-intervention. Conclusion: the study concluded that autistic children exposed to feet reflexology experienced lower mean scores of autism symptoms and less severity of constipation compared to pre reflexology massage. There was a significant correlation between constipation and the severity of autism symptoms on post-intervention. Recommendation: Feet reflexology should be integrated as a part of routine daily care for autistic children and courses that enable nurses to obtain a certification in reflexology are needed.

Keywords: Autism Symptoms, Constipation, Reflexology

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/60-09

Publication date:March 31st 2019

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ISSN 2422-8419

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