Kubler-Ross and the Story of Job

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W O ME N A N D C H I L D R E N

The effects of different maternal positions on non-stress test: an experimental study
Merlinda Alus
¸

BSN, MSc

Dokuz Eylulu University, School of Nursing, Balcova, Izmir, Turkey

Hulya Okumus
¸
¨

BSN, MSN, PhD

Dokuz Eylulu University, School of Nursing, Balcova, Izmir, Turkey

Samiye Mete

BSN, MSN, PhD

Dokuz Eylulu University, School of Nursing, Balcova, Izmir, Turkey

Serkan Guclu
¨¸ ¨

MD

Dokuz Eylul University, School of Medicine, Balcova, Izmir, Turkey

Submitted for publication: 1 June 2005
Accepted for publication: 16 December 2005

Correspondence:
Merlinda Alus
Dokuz Eylul University
School of Nursing
Balcova
Izmir
Turkey
E-mail: merlinda_alus@yahoo.com

562

¨¸ ¨
ALUS M, OKUMUS H, METE S & GUCLU S (2007)
¸
¸

Journal of Clinical Nursing 16,
562–568
The effects of different maternal positions on non-stress test: an experimental study Aims and objectives. To determine the effects of different maternal positions on non-stress test results and the preferences of mothers for involving positions. Background. The non-stress test (NST) has become a common tool in diagnosing fetal risks. The major problem encountered in the application of the non-stress test has been obtaining erroneous non-reactive non-stress test results when, indeed, the fetus is healthy and oxygenation is sufficient.

Study design. Experiment design with randomly assigned four positions: supine, left lateral, semi-fowler and sitting up. The sample included 408 women in a university hospital in Turkey. Women were randomly assigned to four groups in equal numbers of 102.

Data collection and analysis. Data were collected through two instruments: Demographic and Pregnancy History Form and NST tracing. Main outcome measures were percentage of reactive NST and number of minutes for reactivity in each position. Results. There were significant (P < 0Æ05) differences among four groups. Supine position showed the least fetal reactivity. In terms of time to reactivity, there were no statistically significant differences. Qualitative data showed that pregnant women were least comfortable in supine position reporting back pain and shortening of breath.

Conclusion. Supine position yields the lowest non-reactivity in tandem with physical discomfort such as back pain and difficulty in breathing.
Relevance to clinical practice. Sitting up, semi-fowler and left lateral positions are recommended to be used during the non-stress test. In addition, the preferences of the Ó 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation Ó 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01570.x

Women and children

Maternal positions and non-stress test

pregnant women should be determined before the test to minimize discomfort which, when it occurs, may signal physiological alterations experienced during the test. Key words: non-stress test, nurses, nursing, position, reactivity, reactivity time

Introduction
Although pregnancy is a normal biological event, it is a period when the lines of health and illness can become blurred. Even a slight deviation from the mother’s normal physiology can threaten her wellbeing and that of the fetus. Because of this, periodic antenatal care is deemed essential to identify problems at an early stage. According to the Turkish Population and Health Survey 1999 (TDHS 2004), 23Æ6% of pregnant

women in Turkey do not use antenatal care services. Similarly, it is estimated that half of the fetal deaths worldwide occur as a result of unidentified mother and fetal risk. (Reeder et al. 1997, Gorrie et al. 1998, Gilbert & Harmon 2002).

As a result, during the last 20–25 years, the antenatal
assessment of the fetus has gained growing attention. Of the antenatal assessment tools available, the non-stress tests
(NST) has become a common tool in diagnosing fetal risks.
While NST test is generally applied to high risk patients, for example, diabetics and hypertensives,...
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