Aim: This paper is a report of an experimental study of the effects of relaxation-training programme on immediate and prolonged stress responses in women with preterm labour.
Background: Hospitalized pregnant women with preterm labour experience developmental and situational stress. However, few studies have been performed on stress management in such women.
Methods: An experimental pretest and repeated post-test design was used to compare the outcomes for two groups in northern Taiwan from December 2008, to May 2010. A total of 129 women were randomly assigned to an experimental (n = 68) or control (n = 61) group. The experimental group participants were instructed to listen daily to a 13-minute relaxation programme. Measurements involved the stress visual analogue scale, finger temperatures, State Trait Anxiety Inventory, Perceived Stress Scale and Pregnancy-related Anxiety. Two-way analysis of variance and hierarchical linear modelling were used to analyse the group differences.
Results: Compared with those in the control group, participants in the experimental group showed immediate improvements in the stress visual analogue scale scores and finger temperatures. The State Trait Anxiety Inventory-State subscale score for the experimental group was significantly lower than that for the control group (P = 0·03). However, no statistically significant differences for the Perceived Stress Scale and Pregnancy-related Anxiety scores were found between the experimental group and the control group.
Conclusions: The relaxation-training programme could improve the stress responses of women with preterm labour.
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.