University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Aromatherapy and Massage Intrapartum Service Impact Upon Use of Analgesia in Women in Labour: a Retrospective Case Note Analysis

Dhany, A., Mitchell, Theresa and Foy, C. (2012) Aromatherapy and Massage Intrapartum Service Impact Upon Use of Analgesia in Women in Labour: a Retrospective Case Note Analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 18 (10). pp. 932-938. ISSN Print: 1075-5535 Online: 1557-7708

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Background: Over the past decade, interest in complementary therapies and alternative medicine has escalated
among midwives and the general public in response to increased demand from expectant mothers for more
choice, control, and continuity in labor.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore if an aromatherapy and massage intrapartum service (AMIS)
reduced the need for analgesia during labor. This article reports results related to the effects of an AMIS on type
of analgesia chosen by women in labor, and on rates of anesthesia—one aspect of the full study.
Setting/location: The study was conducted in a general maternity unit in southwest England, UK.
Design: A quantitative research approach was taken, whereby contemporaneously completed service evaluation
forms of 1079 women (601 nulliparous women and 478 multiparous women; AMIS group) were retrospectively
analyzed in comparison with the birth records of an equal number of similar women (comparison group). Data
analysis was achieved by entering data from the forms and comparison sample into an SPSS package and
running statistical tests.
Results: In the AMIS group, overall analgesia usage was higher for transcutaneous electrical stimulation at 34%,
compared with 15.9% ( p < 0.001 allowing for parity), and for nitrous oxide and oxygen at 87.6%, compared with
80.8% ( p < 0.001). Pethidine use did not differ after adjustment for parity at 30.1%, compared with 24.2%
( p = 0.27) in the AMIS and comparison groups, respectively. Rates were lower in the AMIS group for epidural
anesthesia at 29.7%, compared with 33.8% ( p = 0.004 allowing for parity) in the comparison group; spinal
anesthesia at 6%; compared with 12.1% ( p < 0.001) in the comparison group; and general anesthesia at 0.8%,
compared with 2.3% ( p = 0.033) in the comparison group.
Conclusions: Having an AMIS appears to have a positive impact on reducing rates of all types of intrapartum
anesthesia. The Service is a beneficial addition to conventional midwifery practice that may influence mode of
delivery and reduce general anesthesia rates.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: women in labour, aromatherapy, massage, case note analysis
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Depositing User: Theresa Mitchell
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2015 08:55
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:07

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