Poster Presentation

Monday, November 5, 2007
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Monday, November 5, 2007
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

This presentation is part of : Rising Stars Posters
Exploration of Adolescents' Decisions in Labor Pain Management
Kwaifa Kary Mack, MSN, RNC, FNP-C, Family Health Center, Community Action Partnership of Kern, Bakersfield, CA, USA
Learning Objective #1: describe two characteristics of adolescence.
Learning Objective #2: identify two or three barriers and triggers associated with adolescentsí decision making in labor pain management.

Labor management is crucial to all expectant women and is of particular concern for pregnant adolescents. Pregnant adolescents are trying to find a place of belonging, establish their own identity, and prepare for early motherhood. Their perception, interpretations, assumptions, and expectations are often biased, exaggerated, egocentric, and at times irrational due to limited life experience and immature insights and problem-solving strategies. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of pregnant adolescents regarding their labor pain, and their decision-making in labor pain management. The research study used a non-experimental, mixed-method design. Twelve pregnant adolescents participated in the study. The researcher gathered quantitative data on levels of pain and timing of pain relief measures through retrospective chart review, and then conducted face-to-face audiotaped interviews to explore decision-making related to pain management. Narrative interview data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using Van Manen’s (1990) method of phenomenology.
Four dominant themes were revealed through the process of qualitative data analysis: Knowledge for Childbirth, Labor Experience, Labor Pain Management, and Motherhood. Further analysis showed that the 12 participants were unprepared for their childbirth, and their pre-admission expectations of childbirth were much different than the actual experience. Participants described labor pain as unbearable and intense. Despite intense labor pain, study participants reported fear of complications, self-challenge, and fear of disappointing others as barriers in delaying use of pharmacological treatment to alleviate labor pain. In this study epidural anesthesia was the preferred method for pain relief for nine participants. Ambiguity of motherhood was reported in this study. All 12 participants welcomed the birth of their child, but some participants expressed apprehension regarding the responsibilities of being a mother.