Objective: There are few studies that have subjectively and objectively verified the efficacy of footbaths as a means of relieving stress. The purpose of the present study was to validate the stress-reducing efficacy of footbaths both subjectively and objectively by means of a stress indicator, chromogranin A (CgA).
Methods: The subjects were 21 female nurses working at a general hospital. After evaluating their current mental and physical condition, and measuring their salivary CgA levels, the subjects took a 10-min footbath. After the bath their mental and physical condition was evaluated again, and their salivary CgA levels were measured again. The changes in their mental and physical state before and after the footbath were assessed by the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. CgA levels taken before and after the footbath were assessed by the paired t-test.
Results: The results showed that both their subjective mental and physical condition improved and their CgA levels were lower after the footbath than before.
Conclusions: These results suggested that footbaths can exert a restorative effect on the stress associated with the performance of nursing duties and are effective in relieving nurses' stress.