Testing the Effectiveness of Therapeutic Showering in Labor

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Abstract

Therapeutic showering is a holistic nursing intervention that is often available and supports physiologic labor. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of therapeutic showering with usual care during active labor. Research questions were as follows: Are there significant differences between women who showered 30 minutes during active labor and those who received usual labor care in anxiety, tension, relaxation, pain, discomfort, and coping? Is there a difference in use of obstetric interventions between groups? A convenience sample of healthy low-risk women in active labor was recruited (N = 32). A pretest posttest control group repeated-measures design was used. Participants were randomized to treatment group (n = 17), who showered for 30 minutes, or to control group (n = 14) who received usual labor care. Women evaluated pain, discomfort, anxiety, tension, coping, and relaxation at enrollment, again 15 minutes after entering the shower or receiving usual care, then again 30 minutes after entering the shower or receiving usual care. Chart reviews after delivery recorded obstetric interventions. The showering group had statistically significant decreases in pain, discomfort, anxiety and tension, and significant increase in relaxation. There were no differences in use of obstetric interventions. Therapeutic showering was effective in reducing pain, discomfort, anxiety, and tension while improving relaxation and supporting labor in this sample.

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