Association between anxiety and pain in the latent phase of labour upon admission to the maternity hospital: a prospective, descriptive study

J Health Psychol. 2015 Apr;20(4):446-55. doi: 10.1177/1359105313502695. Epub 2013 Oct 22.


This study investigated the association between anxiety experienced by the mother, a request for analgesia, and the level of pain at maternity hospital admission in early labour. Anxiety levels were measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and pain was assessed using a Visual Analogue Scale. Anxiety and Visual Analogue Scale scores were compared using a linear regression model and indicated a statistically significant association between the anxiety state and degree of pain (p < 0.016; Y = 0.895 x score + 32.656). There was no significant association between anxiety and a request for epidural analgesia. During labour, an evaluation of anxiety should be associated with an assessment of the perceived degree of pain.

Keywords: anxiety; labour first stage; labour onset; parturition; patient satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesia, Epidural / psychology*
  • Analgesia, Epidural / statistics & numerical data
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Maternity / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Labor Pain / epidemiology
  • Labor Pain / psychology*
  • Labor, Obstetric / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult