Meditation for Preterm Birth Prevention: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Udonthani, Thailand

  • Wanlapa Sriboonpimsuay Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand.
Keywords: meditation programme - preterm birth – prevention - randomized controlled trial

Abstract

IntroductionPreterm birth represents a major obstetric complication. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a meditation programme in the prevention of preterm birth. MethodsThis study was a randomized controlled trial without blinding. The study was performed at Udonthani Hospital in Northeast Thailand. A total of 199 eligible participants were randomly assigned to a five-step mindfulness meditation programme (n=84) or a control group (n=115). The control group received routine prenatal care. The meditation and control group subjects did not differ on a wide variety of sociodemographic characteristics, or in terms obstetric history and prior meditation experience. The data were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis after delivery, using less than 37 weeks as the criterion for a preterm birth. Other outcome variables included a subjective measure of symptoms of stress.ResultsThe preterm birth rate for the meditation group was significantly less than that for the control group (6.0% vs. 15.7%, p=0. 037). The stress scores reported by the meditation group markedly decreased over time (p<0.001), while the control group scores showed no change (p=0.375).ConclusionsThe results confirm and strengthen the findings of past research indicating that participation in a meditation programme can reduce symptoms of stress. Meditation appears to be a promising technique for reducing the incidence of preterm birth. Recommendations are made for future research in this area.

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Published
2011-09-01
How to Cite
Sriboonpimsuay, W. (2011). Meditation for Preterm Birth Prevention: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Udonthani, Thailand. International Journal of Public Health Research, 1(1), 31-39. Retrieved from http://spaj.ukm.my/ijphr/index.php/ijphr/article/view/121