Effect of massage therapy on pain severity and labor of primipara women

N Khodakarami, A Safarzadeh, Nahi Fathizadeh


Introduction: Labor pain is a sort of pain experienced by most women. This pain is more severe and longer among primipara women. This can result in invert effects such as fear, loss of self-confidence and anxiety. New supportive methods such as massage therapy can change the labor to a pleasant event.

Methods: The present study was a quasi-experimental study. The subjects were hospitalized in two elective maternity hospitals in Tehran in 2003. Samples of the research were 60 primipara women having qualifications to enter the research. Sampling was done with convenient sampling method. For data collection, questionnaires and pain evaluation scales were used. Technique of massage was Effleurage that is a kind of Swedish massage exhibited for the first time in labor by Linda Kimber. Before administrating any interventions, severity of pain was measured (in the beginning of active phase). After massage therapy, severity of pain in 4 and l0 cm dilatations of cervix was measured and compared with those of the other group. Then, final results of labor, duration of the phases 1 and 2 and type of labor in the two groups were compared and assessed. For data analysis, SPSS software and descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used.

Results: The findings showed a significant difference between mean pain severity in the first phase in massage therapy group and that of the control group in three initial phases of active phase (P=0), in the beginning of transitive phase (P=0.014) and at the end of first phase (P=0.01). Duration of the first labor phase in the two groups was different.

Conclusion: This method is highly recommended as a non-pharmacological method to decrease pain, duration of phase 1 labor and even fear and anxiety of normal labor in women.



Effleurage, labor, massage technique, pain relief, massage therapy.


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