The Effect of Listening to the Quran on Serum Cortisol Levels and Anxiety in Primiparous Women during the First Stage of Labor

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Research Center, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 M.Sc. Student of Midwifery, School of Fatemeh (PBUH) Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 M.Sc. of Anesthesiology, School of Fatemeh (PBUH) Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

4 M.Sc. Student of Midwifery, Student Research Committee, School of Fatemeh (PBUH) Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

5 B.Sc. Student of Anesthesiology, Student Research Committee, School of Fatemeh (PBUH) Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

6 M.Sc. of State Management, School of Management, Payam Noor University of Shiraz, Shiraz, Iran.


Introduction: Lack of knowledge in primiparous women about the process of vaginal delivery usually causes anxiety. This anxiety can have negative impacts on fetus, mother and childbirth process. Therefore, supporting the mother can reduce her anxiety and help her to cope better with labor. We aimed to determine the effect of listening to the Quran on reducing anxiety and serum cortisol levels in primiparous women during the first stage of labor.
Methods: This clinical trial study was conducted in 2013 on 60 pregnant women who had vaginal delivery in Zainab hospital of Shiraz, Iran. Parturients were randomly allocated into interventional and control groups. In the interventional group, parturients listened to the Quran for 45 minutes using headphone during the active phase of labor. However, in the control group no audio was played through the headphone. Women's anxiety was measured with Spielberger questionnaire before and after using the headphone and cortisol levels were also evaluated. Data were analyzed using SPSS software (version 21) and chi-square, paired t-test, Fisher and Kruskal-Wallis tests. P value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Hearing the Quran was effective in reducing anxiety in the interventional group and this effect was statistically significant between two groups (p<0.001) The serum cortisol levels was 101.47±48.00 µg/l in the intervention group and 226.53±105.77 µg/l in the control group after hearing the Quran and the difference was statistically significant (p<0.001). In the intervention group, anxiety was reduced more effectively in parturients with high familiarity with the Quran (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Listening to the Quran during the labor, especially in women who are much more familiar with the Quran has positive effects in reducing anxiety. This method is a valuable technique with high quality effects on normal vaginal delivery process that may reduce cesarean delivery without indication.


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