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How do women manage pregnancy-related low back and/orpelvic pain? Descriptive findings from an online survey

Sinclair, M., close, ciara, mcCullough, julie, Hughes, Ciara and Liddle, Dianne (2014) How do women manage pregnancy-related low back and/orpelvic pain? Descriptive findings from an online survey. Evidence Based Midwifery, 12 (3). pp. 76-82. [Journal article]

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URL: http://issuu.com/redactive/docs/ebm_september_2014


Background. Low back pain is typically experienced by over 60% of pregnant women and pelvic pain by almost 20%(Pennick and Liddle, 2013). The treatment offered for this condition is mostly physiotherapy, but this is not always effective,or evaluated positively by women. Midwives accept that low back pain and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) is common during pregnancyand treatment is conservative and often includes paracetamol, alongside a variety of physiotherapeutic interventions. However,there is growing concern over the use of medications by pregnant women with LBPP. Therefore, an online survey wasundertaken to explore women’s experiences of LBPP, treatments used and their perceived satisfaction and effectiveness.Aim. To determine the treatments women use to manage LBPP in pregnancy, how helpful they find them and how satisfiedthey are with them.Method. An online UK survey was designed to investigate the incidence of LBPP among women who have recently given birthwithin the UK. The survey was developed and distributed using Qualtrics online software and contained 92 items piloted with10 women who had given birth within the previous two years. The Doctoral Midwifery Research Society website hosted thesurvey and the popular mother and baby websites Netmums and Bounty advertised the study. Ethical and research governanceapproval was granted by the University of Ulster. The survey collected data on demographics, birth outcomes, body massindex (BMI), pain, treatments for LBPP in pregnancy, and physical activity levels. Women were eligible to complete the surveyif they had given birth in the last two years, could understood and read English and were willing to take part.Findings. A total of 331 women accessed the survey, 191 were eligible to take part and 176 completed the survey. The meanage was 30.46 (SD 7.60) and 95% of women were white. The sample response was heavily weighted towards England (75%),with smaller proportions of respondents from Scotland (11%), Northern Ireland (8%) and Wales (6%). The average BMI ofsurvey respondents before their most recent pregnancy was 26.Most women reported being active on two days each week and walking was the most popular activity (81%). Mean lowback pain intensity was 6.43 on a 0 to 10 sliding scale, mean frequency of low back pain was 7.16, mean pelvic pain was 7.62,and mean pelvic pain frequency was 8. Most women had a vaginal birth (66%) and delivered at 36 to 42 weeks’ gestation(78%). A large number of women (110/157) had suffered LBPP before their pregnancy, with many using over-the-counterpainkillers. Painkillers were used by 96 women to manage LBPP in pregnancy. The most frequently used was paracetamol,followed by codeine/co-codomal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). In total, 46% of women receivedtreatment other than painkillers for LBPP in pregnancy. Qualitative data has revealed a disturbing picture of women’s painand its impact on the quality of daily life.Implications. Recommendations include the development of evidence-informed guidelines for practitioners and raisingawareness of medication safety with mothers.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Low back pain in pregnancy, pelvic pain in pregnancy, medication in pregnancy, analgesia usage, online survey, evidence-based midwifery
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies
Institute of Nursing and Health Research
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Centre for Maternal, Fetal and Infant Research
ID Code:31549
Deposited By: Professor Marlene Sinclair
Deposited On:12 May 2015 09:51
Last Modified:27 Aug 2018 08:46

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