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IMPACT OF

SPIRITUAL
INTERVENTIONS
DURING
PREGNANCY
Presented by

Sarah Bricker, RN
NURS 317

Spirituality in Pregnancy
Purpose:
to discuss current research and evidence based nursing
practices that support patients spirituality and health
outcomes (Alkire, 2014, p. 15)

Research Question:
Do spirituality interventions lead to
better outcomes in pregnancy?

Defining the terms


Better outcomes
Spirituality Interventions
Attending religious services
Music and Art

Prayer
Journaling

Reading of Holy Scriptures


Mindful yoga

Lower rates of depression


Carrying pregnancy to term
Fewer risk taking behaviors in
pregnancy
Infants born at or above ideal
birth weight
Fewer interventions during
labor
Lower C-section rates

What does the literature say?


Numerous studies looking at:
Spirituality/religiosity and
Favorable birth outcomes
Birth weight/prematurity
Risky behaviors during pregnancy
Prenatal/postpartum depression
Prenatal anxiety

Study #1 A randomized clinical trial on the


effects of remote intercessory prayer in the
adverse outcomes of pregnancies
Double blind, randomized clinical trial
564 pregnant women
Equally split into Intercessory Prayer (IP) group and
control group
Outcomes evaluated Type of delivery (vaginal vs. cesarean)
Apgar scores
Birth weight

Findings: Similar outcomes in both groups.


No statistically significant difference.
Da Rosa, M. I., Silva, F. R., Silva, B. R., Costa, L. C., Bergamo, A. M., Silva, N. C., & Medeiros, L. R. (2013, August). A randomized clinical
trial on the effects of remote intercessory prayer in the adverse outcomes of pregnancies. Ciencia & Saude Coletiva, 18(8). doi:
10.1590/S1413-81232013000800022

Positives and negatives


Large sample size
Well organized
IP is difficult to control and measure
Outcomes evaluated

Study #2 Effect of music in labor and


newborn
12 pregnant women that met inclusion criteria
5 sessions of musical awareness
Music played at intervals during labor
Interview within 24 hours of delivery and again in 2-4 months
Findings: Mothers reported feelings of tranquility, peace, pain
relief, safety, calm, ambiance, relaxation, and religiosity.
I missed it in the moments without music. Got anxious
Music made a difference, especially because I'm Catholic, so
my selection had Ave Maria I was praying a lot, and at the
time Ave Maria played, it seemed it gave me strength...

Tabarro, C. A., De Campos, L. B., Galli, N. O., Novo, N. F., & Pereira, V. M. (2010, June). Effect of the music in labor and newborn. Revista de
Escola de Enfermagem da USP, 44(2). doi:10.1590/S0080-62342010000200029

Positives and negatives


Looked at a specific intervention
Low cost and non-invasive
Small sample size
Too many variables present to objectively measure effect
of the music

Study #3 Yoga and massage therapy reduce


prenatal depression and prematurity
84 depressed pregnant women
Mindful yoga, massage, and standard care groups
20 minutes of mindful yoga or massage twice weekly for
12 weeks
Multiple pre-tests/post-tests
Findings: Decreased levels of depression, anxiety, and
pain in the massage and yoga groups as well as increased
birth weight and gestational age.

Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Medina, L., Delgado, J., & Hernandez, A. (2012 , April). Yoga and massage therapy reduce
prenatal depression and prematurity. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 16(2 ), 204-209. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2011.08.002

Positives and negatives


Numerous studies that validate similar findings
Lower cost and lest risk than many antidepressants in
pregnancy

Relatively small sample size

Conclusion and Implications for Nursing


Practice
There are many potential spiritual interventions in
pregnancy and many desired outcomes.
Spirituality Interventions
Attending religious services
Music and Art
Prayer
Journaling
Reading of Holy Scriptures
Mindful yoga

Outcomes

Lower rates of depression


Carrying pregnancy to term
Fewer risk taking behaviors in
pregnancy
Infants born at or above ideal
birth weight
Fewer interventions during
labor
Lower C-section rates

More research is needed to study spiritual


interventions in pregnancy.
The research reviewed supports the positive
benefits of mindful yoga and the use of
music during pregnancy and labor.
The IP research did not show correlation
between prayer and the outcomes
evaluated. However, this does not mean
that IP should be discouraged.

Spirituality interventions can be effective in helping


to reach desired outcomes in pregnancy.
Pregnancy and spirituality are uniquely personal to
each woman.
Our practice should be rooted in the evidence and
yet be tailored specifically to each woman.
We should provide spiritual resources and support
for women during this unique time of their lives.

References
Alkire, M. (2014). NURS 317: Spirituality in Nursing Course
Syllabus.
Unpublished manuscript.
Da Rosa, M. I., Silva, F. R., Silva, B. R., Costa, L. C., Bergamo, A. M.,
Silva, N. C., & Medeiros, L. R. (2013, August). A randomized
clinical trial on the effects of remote intercessory prayer in the
adverse outcomes of pregnancies. Ciencia & Saude Coletiva,
18(8). doi: 10.1590/S1413-81232013000800022
Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Medina, L., Delgado, J., &
Hernandez, A. (2012 , April). Yoga and massage therapy reduce
prenatal depression and prematurity. Journal of Bodywork and
Movement Therapies, 16(2 ), 204-209.
doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2011.08.002
Tabarro, C. A., De Campos, L. B., Galli, N. O., Novo, N. F., & Pereira,
V. M. (2010, June). Effect of the music in labor and newborn.
Revista de Escola de Enfermagem da USP, 44(2). doi:10.1590/
S0080-62342010000200029