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Effect of Sacrum-Perineum Heat Therapy on Active Phase Labor Pain and Client Satisfaction: A Randomized, Controlled Trial Study


  • There was no conflict of interest and financial relationship for this study.

Reprint requests to: Somayeh Abdolahian, MSc, Medical Education, and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, P.O.Box:14657-83365, Tehran 14337-43541, Iran. Tel: +98-21-88073782; Fax: +98 21 26131179; E-mail:



Reduction of labor pain is one of the most important aspects of obstetric care. Heat therapy, typically applied to the woman's back, lower abdomen, groin, and/or perineum during last stage of labor, is an easy pain relief method that does not require highly skilled care. The effectiveness of heat therapy applied to the perineum during the first stage of labor has not been evaluated. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of heat therapy for pain and woman's satisfaction during physiological labor.

Subjects and Methods

Sixty primiparous women aged 18–35 years old were randomly assigned to heat therapy and control groups. Pain and satisfaction scores were measured by visual analog scale. The measurements of satisfaction were accomplished after birth. Data were analyzed by using the t-test and chi-square


Mean pain scores in the heat therapy group were significantly lower than the control group (P < 0.05). The mean satisfaction score in the heat therapy group was significantly higher than in the control group (P < 0.05).


Heat therapy, an inexpensive complementary treatment with low risk, can reduce the intensity of pain and increase mothers' satisfaction with care during the active phase of labor.