Minerva: March 2002
Minerva enjoys a good foot massage, but results from a small, single blind trial of reflexology for irritable bowel syndrome do little to dispel her scepticism about the therapy. Reflexology made no difference—statistically or clinically—to the experience of pain, altered bowel habit, or abdominal distension (British Journal of General Practice 2002;52:19-23). As this trial was designed in consultation with reflexology practitioners, their claims of success in cases where orthodox medicine has failed may have to be reassessed.
Patients sometimes get more than they bargained for when they're admitted to hospital. It's been suggested that on entering hospital each patient should be automatically warned about the 10% risk of nosocomial infections, because the consequences of not providing a warning might result in legal action on the issue of consent to treatment. But such warnings could result in a massive loss of confidence because hospital treatment is designed to cure or alleviate