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Effect of a steam foot spa on geriatric inpatients with cognitive impairment: a pilot study

Authors Koike Y, Kondo H, Kondo S, Takagi M, Kano Y

Published Date May 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 543—548

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S44005

Received 13 February 2013, Accepted 3 April 2013, Published 16 May 2013

Yoshihisa Koike,1 Hideki Kondo,2 Satoshi Kondo,1 Masayuki Takagi,1 Yoshio Kano3

1Department of Occupational Therapy, Prefectural University of Hiroshima, Mihara, Japan; 2Yoshiigawa Hospital, Okayama, Japan; 3Department of Occupational Therapy, Kibi International University, Takahashi, Japan


Purpose: To investigate whether a steam foot spa improves cognitive impairment in geriatric inpatients.
Methods: Geriatric inpatients with cognitive impairment were given a steam foot spa treatment at 42°C for 20 minutes for 2 weeks (5 days/week). Physiological indicators such as blood pressure, percutaneous oxygen saturation, pulse, tympanic temperature, and sleep time and efficiency were assessed. Cognitive function and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia were assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination, Dementia Mood Assessment Scale, and Dementia Behavior Disturbance scale.
Results: Significant decreases in systolic (P < 0.01) and diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.05) along with a significant increase in tympanic temperature (P < 0.01) were observed after the steam foot spas. A significant improvement was seen in the Mini-Mental State Examination score (P < 0.01) and the overall dementia severity items in Dementia Mood Assessment Scale (P < 0.05).
Limitations: Japanese people are very fond of foot baths. However, it is difficult to understand why inpatients cannot receive steam foot baths. In this study, a control group was not used. Raters and enforcers were not blinded.
Conclusion: The results of this pilot study suggest that steam foot spas mitigate cognitive impairment in geriatric inpatients.

Keywords: steam foot spa, geriatric inpatients, cognitive impairment, tympanic temperature

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