The study of predicting role of personality traits in the perception of labor pain

Parvin Yadollahi, Zohreh Khalaginia, Abouali Vedadhir, Arezoo Ariashekouh, Ziba Taghizadeh, Farhad Khormaei



Background: Labor pain is one of the most intense pains experienced by women. Different factors including physiological, psychological, socio‑cultural, environmental, and personality‑related factors are relevant to perception of childbirth pain. The negative experience of pain causes mental, psychological problems and influences the relationship between the mother and infant. Therefore, considering the importance of women’s health, this study was conducted to examine the predicting role of personality traits on perception of labor pain among pregnant women in Kazeroun, Fars Province, Iran.

Materials and Methods: This study is a correlational descriptive–analytical study. The data were collected using big five factors questionnaire about personality traits (neuroticism, openness experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and extraversion) and a researcher‑made questionnaire on the perception of labor pain (containing items such as reaction to pain, pain intolerance, pain depth, and pain acceptance) from 220 parturient women who referred to Valiasr Hospital in Kazeroun. The data were analyzed using statistical methods including Pearson correlation coefficient, factor analysis, and multiple regression analysis. All analyses were carried out with SPSS.

Results: The results of the study indicated that among the factors influencing the perception of labor pain, the reaction to pain was meaningfully predicted by the personality dimensions of neuroticism (β =0.26, P < 0.01) and openness experience (β =0.20, P < 0.05). Neuroticism (β =0.20, P < 0.05) and openness experience (β =0.20, P < 0.05) were the positive predicting factors and conscientiousness (β = −0.20, P < 0.05) was a negative predicting factor for labor pain intolerance. Agreeableness (β =0.31,

P < 0.01), neuroticism (β =0.20, P < 0.01), and openness experience (β =0.18, P < 0.01) were the predictive factors for pain depth. Among all personality traits, neuroticism (β =0.19, P < 0.05) and openness experience (β =0.20, P < 0.05) were the positive predictive factors and conscientiousness (β = −0.24, P < 0.05) was the negative predictive factor for the total score of the perception of labor pain.

Conclusions: It is recognized that personality traits can have predictive roles in the perception of labor pain. As a result, using different methods in managing and reducing childbirth pain, along with good advice and suitable education in pregnancy based on personality traits of women can be helpful for mothers to have more pleasurable experience from childbirth.

Key words: Labor pain, perception of pain, personality traits, pregnant women

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