Haptotherapy as a new intervention for treating fear of childbirth: A randomized controlled trial

G.A. Klabbers*, Klaas Wijma, K. Marieke Paarlberg, W.H.M. Emons, A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: 

To evaluate the effect of haptotherapy on severe fear of childbirth in pregnant women.

Design: 

Randomized controlled trial.Setting: Community midwifery practices and a teaching hospital in the Netherlands.Population or Sample: Primi- and multigravida, suffering from severe fear of childbirth (N=134).

Methods: 

Haptotherapy, psycho-education via Internet and care as usual were randomly assigned at 20-24weeks of gestation and the effects were compared at 36weeks of gestation and 6weeks and 6months postpartum. Repeated measurements ANOVA were carried out on the basis of intention to treat. Since there were crossovers from psycho-education via Internet and care as usual to haptotherapy, the analysis was repeated according to the as treated principle.

Main outcome measures: 

Fear of childbirth score at the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire.

Results: 

In the intention to treat analysis, only the haptotherapy group showed a significant decrease of fear of childbirth, F(2,99)=3.321, p=.040. In the as treated analysis, the haptotherapy group showed a greater reduction in fear of childbirth than the other two groups, F(3,83)=6.717, p<.001.

Conclusion:

Haptotherapy appears to be more effective in reducing fear of childbirth than psycho-education via Internet and care as usual.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-47
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • ANXIETY
  • DEPRESSION
  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • MIDWIVES
  • MOTHERHOOD
  • NULLIPAROUS WOMEN
  • PREGNANT-WOMEN
  • Pregnant women
  • RISK
  • SOCIAL SUPPORT
  • STRESS
  • birth
  • fear of childbirth
  • haptotherapy
  • treatment

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