Perineal pain is a serious condition that may negatively impact a significant number of postpartum women. Healthcare professionals, including midwives and nurses, are available to support women 24 hours a day during this period in hospital and are in an ideal position to assist in the management of perineal pain for postpartum women.
The aim of this evidence implementation project was to improve management of perineal pain among postpartum women in Ward 21 of the Obstetric and Gynecological Hospital, Fudan University.
This evidence implementation project utilized the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System, and Getting Research into Practice audit and feedback tools. Six best practice recommendations were used for the audit cycle. A total of 18 nurses, three midwives and 30 female patients participated in the project. A baseline audit was conducted, followed by the implementation of strategies targeted to address the identified barriers. A follow-up audit was then conducted to evaluate change in practice.
Improvements in practice were observed for all six criteria. Significant improvements were found for the following: staff education increased compliance by 76% (from 24% to 100%). Education regarding antenatal perineal massage technique increased by 97% (from 3% to 100%). Compliance rates for use of ice packs increased by 63% (from 17 to 80%). Compliance rates for daily perineal pain assessment conducted for three days following childbirth increased by 100%, and analgesia administration rates increased by 27% (from 1% to 40%). Compliance rates for women's acceptance of postnatal perineal care education increased by 70% (from 30 to 100%).
The current clinical audit project has made a significant improvement in establishing evidence-based practice of management of perineal pain among postpartum women in the gynecologic and obstetric hospital in Shanghai. It has been effective in increasing staff compliance and reducing the perineal pain among postpartum women.