FACTORS INFLUENCING PERCEPTION OF LABOR PAIN. LITERATURE REVIEW
Keywords:pain perception, labor pain, factors that influence pain perception, parturient
Objectives. Every woman during childbirth passes labor-pain experience. Although pain in childbirth is unavoidable, due to perception, its experience varies from one parturient to another. The objective of this paper was to identify and analyze the factors that influence the perception of labor pain by the parturient.
Materials and methods. In order to identify sources with concern to labor pain perception, we initiated a search using PubMed, Medline, Google platforms; as well we navigated on the official websites of the International Societies of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, and International Pain Societies. The following keywords were used for navigation: labor pain, perception of labor pain, factors that affect pain perception, pain during delivery.
Results and discussions. A selection of clinical studies and literature reviews, focusing on the unique aspects of labor pain and the factors that impact how it is experienced by women in labor, were chosen for analysis. By itself, pain is a multidimensional phenomenon and is influenced by multiple features. The factors that influence the perception and acceptance of pain by the patient are: physical and biological, sociocultural and psychological. Among the physical and biological factors are the women’s age, parity, body mass index, position during birth, oxytocin level. Cultural, religious and ethnic aspects have an important impact on the perception of labor pain, and sometimes under their influence interpretations of pain reach the point of absurdity. Psychological factors, as well, strongly affect the perception of pain. The parturient emotions, previous painful experiences, degree of preparation for childbirth, environmental factors, attachment pattern and personality traits can modify the perception of pain during labor.
Conclusions. The perception of labor pain is influenced by a combination of factors, some of which can be modified and other cannot. Parturient education, preparing for birth, assistance and counseling during the delivery and a pleasant atmosphere in the delivery room are the ways to alleviate the pain experienced during labor, which help to prevent or to minimize the distant consequences.
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