INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to determine the effect on perceived pain of ice massage applied to the Large Intestine-4 (LI4) pressure point during episiotomy repair.
METHODS: Research data were collected between April 15, 2018, and December 15, 2018. Women who met the criteria for inclusion in the study and had an episiotomy performed by a midwife were assigned to the intervention or control group according to the randomization scheme. Women assigned to the intervention group were given plastic gloves filled with ice pieces just before the episiotomy repair began, and they were asked to press the glove into the LI4 region in their hands until the episiotomy repair was finished. The routine practice was carried out with the women in the control group. The questionnaire containing sociodemographic and birth-related information and a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) were applied to all women.
RESULTS: A total of 347 women, 178 (51.0%) in the intervention group and 169 (49.0%) in the control group, were included in the study. There was no difference between the intervention group and the control group in the scores obtained from the VAS before the ice application (6.0 (6.0-7.0) vs. 6.0 (6.0-7.0), p=0.530). On the other hand, a significant difference was found between the mean VAS scores of women in the intervention and control groups after ice application (4.0 (4.0-6.0) vs. 5.0 (5.0-6.0), p=0.001).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: It was determined that ice massage applied to the LI4 pressure point in the hands during episiotomy repair significantly reduced the perceived pain level.