Complementary and Alternative Therapies to Relieve Labor Pain: A Comparative Study Between Music Therapy and Hoku Point Ice Massage


Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice




BACKGROUND & AIM: Pain is a common experience for women during labor. In the present study, we compared the effect of two types of non-pharmacological pain relief methods "music therapy" and "Hoku point ice massage" on the severity of labor pain. METHODS: This prospective, randomized, controlled trial was conducted in Shahrekord, Iran, from September 2013 to June 2014. We randomly assigned 90 primiparous women who expected a normal childbirth into three groups: group "A" received music therapy, group "B" received Hoku point ice massage, and group "C" received usual labor care. At the beginning of the active phase (4 cm cervical dilation) and before and after each intervention (at dilations 4, 6, and 8 cm), the intensities of labor pain were measured using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). RESULTS: At the beginning of the active phase, the mean VAS scores were 5.58 +/- 1.29, 5.42 +/- 1.31, and 6.13 +/- 1.37 in the women in groups "A," "B," and "C," respectively (P > 0.05). After the intervention, the mean pain scores were significantly lower at all of the time points in groups "A" and "B" than in group "C" women (P < 0.05). Although the pain scores showed a more decreasing trend after the intervention in group "A" than that in group "B," the difference between the two groups was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Music therapy and Hoku point ice massage are easily available and inexpensive methods and have a similar effect in relieving labor pain.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Childbirth; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Labor Pain; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Pain Severity; Pregnancy; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Visual Analog Scale (VAS)

Indexed Terms

Adolescents; Cryotherapy; Ice; Iran; Labor Pain; Pain Measurement; Pregnancy; Prospective Studies; Alternative therapies; Complementary therapies; Massage; Pain severity; Primiparous women

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

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