Background: Childbirth is an important experience in a woman's life; and the quality of
childbirth has short- and long-term effects on them.
Objective: The present study aimed to determine the effect of positive mental imagery on the labor
pain tolerance in primiparous women referred to Atieh Teaching-Medical Center in Hamadan.
Methods: The present clinical trial study (IRCT20120215009014N242) was conducted on 90 primiparous
mothers referred to Atieh Hospital of Hamadan in interventional (n=45) and control (n=45)
groups. Data collection tools included demographic information forms, behavioral pain scale, Visual
Analogue Scale (VAS), and the birth registration checklist that were administered to both groups
through interviews and observation during labor. The intervention group participated in 4 weekly
counseling sessions in groups of 5 to 7 participants, but the control group received only routine care.
Finally, the data obtained from the above questionnaires was analyzed using SPSS 21 and analysis
of covariance (ANCOVA), Independent t-test and chi-square test and the significance level of tests
was considered to be 5%.
Results: The research results indicated that the mean age of control and intervention groups was
25.98±4.82 years, 25.32±4.85 years, respectively. The mean scores of the Visual analogue scale
(VAS) and the Behavioral Pain Scale significantly decreased compared to the control group (P
<0.001). The mean scores of behavioral changes in the intervention group were 1.77±0.68,
2.39±0.54 and 3.09±0.60 in 4-5 cm, 6-7 cm and 8-10 cm dilatations, respectively, which showed a
statistically significant decrease compared to the control group (P=0.005).
Conclusion: Positive mental imagery counseling reduced the visual analogue intensity and behavioral
pain intensity in primiparous women. It seems that continuing education and counseling during
pregnancy and empowering mothers to control themselves and learn mental imagery techniques and
practice during pregnancy and childbirth can help mothers to feel more relaxed and alleviate the labor