Skip to main content

Using a birth ball in the latent phase of labour to reduce pain perception; a randomised controlled trial.

Mylod, D., 2020. Using a birth ball in the latent phase of labour to reduce pain perception; a randomised controlled trial. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

Full text available as:

MYLOD, Dominique_Ph.D._2019.pdf



Hospital admission in the latent phase of labour is associated with higher rates of obstetric intervention, with increased maternal and fetal morbidity. Women sent home from hospital in the latent phase to 'await events' feel anxious and cite pain as their main drive to seeking hospital admission. Using a birth ball to assume upright positions and remain mobile in the latent phase of labour in hospital is associated with less pain and anxiety. However, no research has examined the effect of using birth balls at home in the latent phase on pain perception, hospital admission or obstetric intervention. An animated infomercial was developed to promote birth ball use at home in the latent phase of labour to enhance women's self-efficacy, in order to reduce their pain perception. As a pragmatic randomised controlled single centre trial, 294 low risk women were randomly allocated to two groups. At 36 weeks’ gestation the Intervention Arm accessed the infomercial online and completed a modified Childbirth Self- Efficacy Inventory before and after viewing. They were also offered the loan of a birth ball to use at home. The Control Arm received standard care. On admission to hospital in spontaneous labour, all participants were asked to provide a Visual Analogue Scale score. Both groups were followed up six weeks postpartum with an online questionnaire. Data were analysed on an Intention To Treat basis. A significant increase was found in Outcome Expectancy and Self-efficacy Expectancy after accessing the infomercial and Intervention Arm participants were more likely to be admitted in active labour. No significant differences were found between the VAS scores, or intervention rates. Most respondents (89.2%) described the birth ball as helpful and reported high satisfaction, with comfort, empowerment and progress. The birth ball is a promising intervention to support women in the latent phase. Further research should consider a randomised cluster design.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:birth ball; latent labour; pain; labour
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:33996
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:12 May 2020 13:12
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:22


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -