A prospective quasi-experimental controlled study evaluating the use of dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses to manage common postpartum ailments during postnatal care

Jaclyn Michele Szkwara*, Nikki Milne, Evelyne Rathbone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Objective:
To evaluate the effectiveness of a postnatal dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses to manage postpartum pain, improve functional capacity and enhance the quality of life arising from postnatal ailments immediately to an 8-week postpartum, compared with patients who did not wear dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses.

Method:
A total of 51 postpartum women were recruited (day 0 to 10 days post-delivery) from hospitals and community-based health clinics to participate in a prospective quasi-experimental controlled study using parallel groups without random allocation. The subgroup of the compression shorts group wore SRC recovery shorts and received standard postnatal care. The comparison group received standard postnatal care alone. Wear compliance was monitored throughout the study. Primary outcome measure, Numeric Pain Rating Scale, and secondary outcome measures, Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire–7, and Short Form (SF-36) were assessed fortnightly over 8 weeks for both groups.

Results:
The compression shorts group reported a larger reduction in mean (SD) Numeric Pain Rating Scale score (−3.09 (2.20)) from baseline to 8 weeks, compared to the comparison group (−2.00 (1.41)). However, there was insufficient evidence of a statistical difference in Numeric Pain Rating Scale score at 8 weeks when comparing the compression shorts group and comparison group (−1.17; 95%CI: (−2.35, −0.01), R2 = .19, p = .050). The compression shorts group met the wear compliance of the dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses and reported an average wear of the dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses as 9 out of 14 days for 11 h per day (SD 4.8 h) between the fortnightly timepoints.

Conclusion:
The use of dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses may be considered during postnatal care as a non-pharmacological therapeutic intervention to manage pain resulting from common postpartum ailments. While the dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses was clinically well accepted by participants with high wearing compliance, future research with larger population samples are needed to enable statistical conclusions on the effectiveness of a dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses in postnatal care to be made.

Registration:
Trial registration was not required as per the Australian Government Department of Health, Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Keywords: compression garments, dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses, pain, pelvic support belts, physiotherapy, postnatal care, postpartum
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalWomen's Health
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2020

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