The Effects of Back Massage on Pain Intensity during the First Stage of Labor in Primiparous Women

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Bojnord University of Medical Sciences, Bojnord, Iran

2 M.Sc. of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences , Mashhad, Iran

3 Anesthesiologist, Mashhad, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of Public Health & Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: Labor pain is one of the most severe human pains, which has mental and physical side-effects on pregnant women and their fetuses. One of the most ancient complementary methods used to relieve labor pain is massage. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of back massage on labor pain in women attending Bentolhoda maternity hospital in Bojnord city (northeast Iran) in 2005.
Material and Methods: In this single blind clinical trial, that only assessor was blind 62 primiparous pregnant women with gestational age 37-42 weeks, who had singleton pregnancy with vertex presentation and were candidate for normal vaginal delivery were recruited. Number of cases was defined on other trials.Then the women were randomized every other day and were divided in two groups. Back massage in the experimental group (n=32) was continuous, firm, and steady for 30 minutes and the women in the control group (n=30) received 30 minutes routine nursing care in any three phases of labor. By using the visual analogue scale (VAS), the intensity of pain before and after the massage or routine care was compared between the two groups in the latent phase (cervical dilation 3-4 cm), active phase (cervical dilation 5-7 cm), and transitional phase (cervical dilation 8-10 cm) of the labor. In order to collect data an interview and observation sheet were filled out. The data were analyzed using statically tests such as X2, and Student’s t tests by using SPSS soft ware.
Result: The women in the experimental group had significantly lower pain in the latent (p<0/001), active (p<0/001), and transitional phases (p<0.001).The mean pain score before and after back massage was significantly different in the experimental group (p<0/001 for each phase). There was significant difference between longevity of contraction and numerous of vaginal examination and mean scores of group on mean score pain before and after intervention in the latent phase (p<0/001).
Conclusion: This study indicated that back massage reduce pain intensity in the first stage of labor.


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