The effects of attention to sensory information (viewing the contraction monitor, information-seeking styles (monitoring and blunting), cognitive coping strategies (attention, distraction, control), anxiety, and self- efficacy expectancies on women's pain reports during childbirth were studied. Forty-eight women completed questionnaires upon admission to the labor room, and reported their pain on an analogue scale while viewing and not viewing the contraction monitor during the active phase of labor. They were interviewed again at the maternity ward 1 to 2 days later. Monitors experienced less pain, and blunters more pain while viewing the monitor, controlling for contraction amplitudes. Women viewing the monitor used more attention and control-predictability strategies than when not viewing, particularly if they had a monitoring information-seeking style; when not viewing the monitor they used more distraction strategies, particularly if they had a blunting information-seeking style. Reported use of attention, distraction, and control-predictability coping strategies had significant negative correlations with pain reports. Pain anxiety was positively, and self-efficacy expectations negatively, related to pain reports. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
- Monitoring and blunting