PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS IN EXPERIENCE OF PAIN DURING CHILDBIRTH
Aim: Pain during delivery is unique because it is accompanied by powerful emotions. Emotions that occur in women during labor and delivery are closely tied to upbringing and culture in which they were raised and consequently with the sensation of experienced pain. According to the Melzack-Wall Theory of Pain, general mood is directly related to the intensity and quality of pain and it is therefore justifiable to presuppose that certain psychosocial factors will be linked with the intensity and quality of pain experienced during childbirth. (Melzack et al., 1981). We endeavored to show the effect of psychosocial factors that influence the intensity and quality of labor pain.
Methods: Data were collected in a sample of 176 parturient women who delivered without Cesarean sections or epidural anesthesia. The intensity and quality of pain were obtained through the administration of the McGill Pain Questionnaire - Short Form. Psychosocial factors included: number of births, presence of partner, self-evaluation of knowledge of physio-anatomical aspects of birth and the completion of a pregnancy course.
Results: Labor and delivery pain is of high intensity and the quality of pain is most frequently characterized as smarting, cramping, exhausting, and sharp. The presence of a partner and the completion of a pregnancy course is exercised by a small number of parturients. Self-evaluation of preexisting knowledge of physio-anatomical aspects of delivery is predictive of the affective component of intensity of childbirth pain.
Conclusion: Psychosocial factors have been shown as significant for the intensity and quality of experienced childbirth pain.
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