This randomized controlled trial was perfomed between November 2017-February 2018. Seventy five patients who experienced moderate or higher level chemotherapy related fatigue were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. A training booklet about chemotherapy-induced fatigue was given to all patients. In addition, the experimental group performed 20 min warm salt water footbath for a week. The primary outcome was the change in fatigue level over 7 days after chemotherapy. The secondary outcome was the difference in physical, affective, emotional, and cognitive fatigue scores of patients.
The level of fatigue was grade 2 and grade 3 for 65.3% and 33.3% of patients, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between groups regarding the mean of total fatigue score before and after bath (p > 0.05). However, the amount of decrease observed in the experimental group was found to be statistically significantly higher than the control group (p = 0.012; p < 0.05). In addition; the score in behavioral/severity, sensory, affective and cognitive dimensions related to fatigue decreased in the experimental group but did not decrease in the control group.
This study shown that warm salt water footbath can be an effective approach in enhancing fatigue related quality of life cancer patients. More studies should be conducted to assess the effectiveness of this intervention.
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