Self-report and psychophysiological effects of lamaze preparation: An analogue of labor pain

Authors

  • Elizabeth Geden Professor Ph.D.,

    Associate, Corresponding author
    • University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Nursing, S235 Nursing School Building, Columbia, MO 65211
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    • Drs. Elizabeth Geden, Neils C. Beck, and Gerald Brouder are associate professors in the School of Nursing, University of Missouri at Columbia.

  • Niels C. Beck,

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    • Drs. Elizabeth Geden, Neils C. Beck, and Gerald Brouder are associate professors in the School of Nursing, University of Missouri at Columbia.

  • Gerald Brouder,

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    • Drs. Elizabeth Geden, Neils C. Beck, and Gerald Brouder are associate professors in the School of Nursing, University of Missouri at Columbia.

  • Judy Glaister,

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    • Ms. Judy Glaister and Ms. Susan Pohlman were formerly research assistants in the School of Nursing, University of Missouri at Columbia.

  • Susan Pohlman

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    • Ms. Judy Glaister and Ms. Susan Pohlman were formerly research assistants in the School of Nursing, University of Missouri at Columbia.


Abstract

Eighty nulliparous college female undergraduates were cast randomly into a series of eight treatment conditions representing all possible combinations of the three major components of the Lamaze method of childbirth preparation (relaxation training, informative lectures, and breathing exercises). Assessments of the efficacy of these pain coping strategies were subsequently made in the context of a 1-hour session involving twenty 80-second exposures to a laboratory pain stimulus, patterned so as to resemble labor contractions. Dependent variables included self-reported pain, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, frontalis EMG, and heart rate. Results of the study indicated that relaxation training comprises the most therapeutically active component of the Lamaze treatment regimen, with significant effects (treatments X trials) on self-reported pain, frontalis EMG, and heart rate. The implications of these findings are discussed from the perspective of designing new, and hopefully more efficacious, methods of preparing women for labor and delivery.

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