The Effect of Spiritual Counseling on Stress and Anxiety in Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial
Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal
Considering the undesirable consequences of stress and anxiety in pregnancy and the role of midwives in providing emotional support for pregnant women, it is essential to utilize non-medical therapies, such as spiritual counseling. Objectives: The present study aimed to determine the effect of spiritual counseling on stress and anxiety in pregnant women. Methods: This randomized controlled clinical trial recruited 112 pregnant women presenting to the health centers in Maragheh, Iran, in 2016
... . The participants were assigned to two 56-member groups of control and intervention with a randomized block design. A socio-demographic questionnaire, the perceived stress scale, and the Spielberger state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) were completed before and four weeks after the intervention through interviews with participants. Results: 55 participants in the counseling group and 56 in the control group were followed up and analyzed until the end of the study. The mean (± SD) scores of stress, state anxiety, and trait anxiety were 35.4 (± 4.5), 48.5 (± 4.8), and 47.4 (± 4.6) in the counseling group and 34.8 (± 3.6), 47.8 (± 4.1), and 49.0 (± 4.1) in the control group before the intervention, respectively. The mean (± SD) scores of stress, state anxiety, and trait anxiety were 34.8 (± 3.5), 48.0 (± 4.5), and 44.7 (± 4.0) in the counseling group and 37.8 (± 3.7), 49.7 (± 4.2), and 46.0 (± 3.8) in the control group four weeks after the intervention, respectively. According to ANCOVA for controlling the baseline scores after the intervention, the mean scores of perceived stress (adjusted mean difference = -3.4; 95% confidence interval = -2.3 to -4.4; P < 0.001) and state anxiety (-2.1; -3.6 to -5.5; P < 0.001) were significantly lower in the counseling group, while the two groups had no significant difference in terms of the mean scores of trait anxiety after the intervention. Conclusions: Spiritual counseling can control perceived stress and state anxiety of pregnant women. Therefore, spiritual counseling is recommended as a complementary and effective intervention in managing the psychological problems of pregnant mothers.