Investigating the Effect of Hypnotherapy on Reducing Anxiety and Pain during Labor

Anahita Sahour, Mohammad Kazem Fakhri, Mahdi Pourasghar


Background: Majority of women go through levels of anxiety during pregnancy. In this respect, anxiety and fear of labor pain are among the most common causes for elective Cesarean-section as a preferred type of childbirth by pregnant women. However, Caesarean-section delivery as a surgical technique can be accompanied by adverse side effects and outcomes for mother-infant health. Thus, the use of non-pharmaceutical approaches moderating anxiety and pain during labor can be beneficial in promoting the health status of mothers and babies. Accordingly, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of hypnotherapy on reducing anxiety and pain during labor among pregnant women.

Methodology: This study was an experimental research with a pre-test/posttest design comprised of experimental and control groups. Among the pregnant women referring to hospitals affiliated to Social Security Organization in Mazandaran Province, 30 nulliparous pregnant women with gestational age of 27-33 weeks were selected via convenience sampling method and then they were randomly designed to experimental and control groups of 15 individuals. The research instruments in this study included the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), McGill Pain Questionnaire (Index), as well as the Standard Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). In addition to routine prenatal care for pregnant women in the experimental group, hypnotherapy was used for 8 sessions to reduce prenatal anxiety and then it was employed to moderate pain during labor as an analgesic. However, the control group only received routine prenatal care. The data were also analyzed using the SPSS software (version 25) and parametric test of Covariance (ANCOVA); independent t test and nonparametric U Mann Whitney

Findings: Comparing the post-test state-trait anxiety in both control and experimental groups, it was found that hypnotherapy could reduce anxiety in pregnant women in the experimental group. Furthermore; comparing the variable of pain in the experimental and control groups revealed that the mean score of pain in the experimental group was lower than the significance level (p-value<0.00).

Conclusion: It was concluded that hypnotherapy was effective in reducing anxiety and pain during labor and it could be used as a non-pharmaceutical approach during pregnancy and childbirth care.


Hypnotherapy; State Anxiety; Trait Anxiety; Labor Pain

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