Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Cindy Miller

Abstract

This study describes patient expectations and actual pain relief reported by patients experiencing childbirth while utilizing epidural analgesia as their method of choice to reduce the pain associated with childbirth using a quantitative descriptive design. Data were collected using the Expectations of Pain Relief Utilizing Epidural Analgesia Questionnaire. The sample (N=17) consisted of first-time mothers delivering at an acute community hospital who were participants in the county's Nurse-Family Partnership Program. The questionnaire, developed by the researcher, was distributed to participants by their Nurse-Family Partnership Registered Nurse during a routine postpartum home visit during the three month study time span. The study questionnaire, instructions, and consent forms were incorporated into the packet.

The theoretical framework of Katharine Kolcaba's Theory of Comfort was incorporated in order to guide this research. Specific conceptual model concepts viewed are comfort measures, intervening variables, institutional integrity, comfort, and the metaparadigm aspect of person described as "patient" by Kolcaba.

Results of the study were inconclusive due to the small number of study participants. Further research is needed with a larger sample size, and a more diverse population of participants and organizations that utilize epidural analgesia. Further research is needed to substantiate a more conclusive understanding of patient expectations of epidural analgesia in order to increase the validity of the study.

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