Essentially, this paper is an academic critique of two articles, “Local Cooling for Relieving Pain from Perineal Trauma Sustained during Childbirth” by Christine E East, Lisa Begg, Naomi E Henshall, Paul R Marchant and Karen Wallace, and “Antenatal Perineal Massage” by Oxford Radcliffe Hospital. East et al. conducted the research to evaluate and establish the side effects and effectiveness of localized cooling treatments compared with other cooling treatments, no treatments and non-cooling treatments applied to the perineum as a result of the perineal trauma that is sustained during birth. On the other hand, the article by Oxford Radcliffe Hospital outlines some crucial and critical information with regards to perineal massage. My critique or examination focuses on specific sections of the articles especially with regards to the validity and process of the research methodologies and results. I have tried to develop a focused, unified and cohesive explanation, which not only explicates the particulars of the articles but which also, formulates a clear and concise interpretation of the articles.
Perineal massage refers to a technique that is widely used to increase the possibility of delivering a baby without a tear or episiotomy. It works by stretching the perineal tissues thus leading to less resistance in the delivery of a baby, and reducing the need to cut into the tissue to create more room for delivery. When the muscles that are found in the pelvic floor are relaxed, the delivery resistance is reduced. Undertaking perineal massage is crucial because it enables women to identify the muscles thus they are able to relax them in response to pressure. In their article “Local Cooling for Relieving Pain from Perineal Trauma Sustained during Childbirth”, the authors conduct an extensive search on articles, papers and reports. They scrutinize both published and unpublished quasi-randomized and randomized trials that provided comparisons between localized cooling treatments that are widely applied to the perineum and no-treatment and other treatments applied to the perineum to lessen and relieve the pain related to perineum trauma sustained during child delivery. While introducing the article, the authors indicate that perineal tears are very common during the childbirth of a baby. They also underline that sometimes caregivers resort to cutting the perineum to allow extra space for the baby to be born in a procedure that is widely known as episiotomy. Further, they posit that these tears case pain to women in days, hours or months after the birth. This statement outlines the foundation of the research. It is not the research question, but a firm statement of belief by the authors. It is from this statement of belief that they draw the purpose of the study. The authors express the fact that episiotomy is a very common occurrence during delivery, therefore, local cooling can be used to relive pain form perineal trauma that is often sustained during childbirth. In the article, Antenatal Perineal Massage, the authors define perineal massage and they further outline some of its advantages and disadvantages.
In their research, the authors concentrate on evaluating and assessing the effects and effectiveness of localized cooling treatments as compared to no-treatments, non-cooling treatments and other types of cooling treatments. Of significance to the authors is the use of localized cooling strategies to relive pain emanated from perineal trauma sustained during delivery. They show that through studies conducted by different researchers
Overall, the problem statement is in agreement with the title of the study and it appears to be of immense educational importance. However, the problem was not very clear and visible to a regular reader, and required repeated readings to establish the reason behind the researchers conviction that this study was necessary. Additionally, it was restricted to the researcher’s resources and capabilities.
The authors of the article draw on numerous preexisting researches to formulate the purpose of their study. In addition, it appears that they drew from a comprehensive and wide-ranging list of resources throughout their studies. For example, in the background section of the article “Local Cooling for Relieving Pain from Perineal Trauma Sustained during Childbirth”, the authors provide a detailed and extensive background detailing and describing the condition its effects and the relevant prevention strategies. Additionally, The subtopics or section titles that have been used in the study are also very effective and they enable the readers to decipher more information about the research topic.
With regards to being up to date and current, the review of literature seems to be very valid and reliable. The authors have referenced previous researches on the use of use of localized cooling approaches to relive pain resulting from perineal trauma sustained during delivery. Most of the studies that were consulted were undertaken and published after 1990. However, it is troubling that no clear reference has been offered in relation to the actual impact of localized cooling approaches in alleviating the pain occasioned by perineal trauma caused during childbirth. Also, no clear emphasis has been placed on evaluating primary data such as artifacts and interviews.
Specifically, the research study sought to evaluate and establish the side effects and effectiveness of localized cooling treatments as compared to no-treatment, and other types of non-cooling treatments and cooling treatments.
The authors conducted extensive and elaborate researches on the Cochrane Childbirth and Pregnancy Groups Trials Register, the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Register, CINAHL and contacted other experts and professional in the field. Indeed, the methods that were used to collect or to gather the information in this research study were explained clearly. The articles that were used were very credible therefore, the information drawn from them can be said to be credible and valid.
The researchers provided a detailed and elaborate summary of the study. In the summary, they provided a brief background of the study, the purpose of the study and findings of the study and the conclusions the study.
Discussion and Conclusion
The authors concluded that there is partial evidence to support the efficacy of local cooling treatments that are often applied to the perineum after delivery to lessen the pain. The conclusion of this research article incorporates the ideas and thoughts presented in the results section and makes worthwhile statements based on them. Therefore, the interpretation and explanation of the results is reserved for this section of the paper (Nonetheless, some interpretation is also done in the preceding sections of the paper).
Personal Analytic Statement
This was a very detailed and in-depth research study, especially for a journal article. Most sections of the study were well organized and well written. It was necessary to review some literature on related researches to develop and establish the background of the study. The article did get very complicated in the section that attempted to analyze and scrutinize the various methodologies that were used in the related researches. Generally, this research study was a very significant and crucial contribution to the field of perineal massage and episiotomy.
East CE, Begg L, Henshall NE, Marchant P, Wallace K. (2007). Local cooling for relieving pain from perineal trauma sustained during childbirth. London: JohnWiley & Sons, Ltd.
Oxford Radcliffe Hospital (2011). Antenatal Perineal Massage. Oxford: Oxford Radcliffe Hospital Trust.