Self-reported elevated pain levels: A coping strategy used by women undergoing medical abortion procedures

Martine Denise Freeman*, Caryn Scheinberg Andrews, Uri Pinchas Dior, Sarit Shimony-Kanat, Yoram Bar-Tal, Assaf Ben-Meir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Epidural analgesia alleviates pain during normal labour but women who undergo medical abortion procedures using epidural analgesia continue to express high pain levels. To understand this we assessed if patients undergoing medical abortions, treated with epidural analgesia, use their pain for psychological benefits. Methods: This study comprised 105 patients over 13 weeks of gestational age diagnosed with foetal abnormalities after selecting a medical abortion procedure using epidural analgesia. Three questionnaires were handed-out: 1) ‘Need for Affect’, assessed the motivation to react to emotions; 2) ‘Pain-Levels’ 3) PANA- ‘Positive Affect’ (PA), ‘Negative Affect’ (NA) assessed emotions pre-abortion and post-abortion. Results: Patients with a strong Need for Affect and high Pain-Levels expressed a stronger PA post-abortion (b = .69, se = .11, β = .68, p < .001, 95%CI [.48,.90]). Patients with a strong NA pre-abortion and high Pain-Levels expressed a higher NA post-abortion (b = .48, se = .11, β = .53, p < .001, 95%CI [.26,.70]). Conclusion: Patients with a strong Need for Affect who express a strong PA pre-abortion intensify their pain to fulfill their Need for Affect, which then helps recovery. Patients with a strong NA pre-abortion and high Pain-Levels indicate a less favourable outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-492
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Medical abortion
  • need for affect
  • negative affect
  • pain
  • positive affect

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