The Effect of Heat Therapy on the Severity of Restless Legs Syndrome and Sleep Quality in the Elderly

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)


 Restless legs syndrome is a neurological condition associated with an irresistible urge to move the legs and eventually leads to discomfort, sleep disorders, and reduced quality of life. Restless legs syndrome is common in the elderly, whose health improvement is an important healthcare issue. This study aimed to determine the effect of hot water bags on the severity of restless legs syndrome and sleep quality in the elderly.


 The study has a quasi-experimental design. In this research, 88 elderly people were selected based on purposive sampling. Then they were randomly assigned to the experimental (n=44) and control (n=44) groups. The intervention group received a hot water bag on the leg, and the control group received routine care. Data collection tools were the demographic questionnaire, the restless legs syndrome rating scale, and the Pittsburgh sleeps quality index. The questionnaires were completed as a self-report. Data were analyzed with the independent t test and paired t test using SPSS.


 The Mean±SD scores of restless legs syndrome were 16.7±0.46 in the experimental group and 16.50±1.17 in the control group before the intervention, which was not significantly different (P=0.32). The Mean±SD scores of restless legs syndrome were 10.68±1.52 in the experimental group and 15.55±1.79 in the control group after the intervention, which was significantly different (P=0.0001). In addition, the mean ± SD scores of sleep quality were 8.3±1.5 and 10.42±1.89 in the control group and the experimental group after the intervention, which showed a significant difference (P=0.0001).


 Findings showed that the hot water bag application reduces the severity of restless legs syndrome and improves sleep quality. Therefore, a hot water bag is especially recommended for the elderly, as it is cheap, accessible, and acceptable.

Complementary Medicine Journal of faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Volume:12 Issue: 2, 2022
202 to 213  
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