Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Midwifery, PHD Student in Reproductive Health, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Kashan University of Medical Sciences

2 Department of Biostatistics and Public Health, Faculty of Health, Kashan University of Medical Sciences,

3 Department of Health, Kargar Health Centre, Kashan University of Medical Sciences,

4 Department of Health, Akramian Health Centre, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran


BACKGROUND: If anxiety and depression do not detect in pregnant women, they may cause
complications for the mother, child, and family, including postpartum depression. With regard to the
administrative capability of relaxation in health centers, this study was conducted to determine the
effect of progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery on stress, anxiety, and depression in
pregnant women.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This randomized clinical trial was conducted on pregnant women in
the city of Kashan at 28–36 weeks. At the onset of the study, demographic questionnaire, Edinburgh
Depression Scale, and Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale‑21 (DASS‑21) were completed.
Providing obtaining score of mild‑to‑moderate in the stress, anxiety, and depression scale and score
of 10 or higher in Edinburgh Depression Scale, individuals were divided randomized to the intervention
group (n = 33) and control group (n = 33). DASS‑21 was again completed in the 4th–7th weeks of
beginning of the study by all women.
RESULTS: Analysis of variance with repeated measures indicated significant differences in mean
of scores of stress, anxiety, and depression at three different times in relaxation group (P < 0.05)
whereas found no significant differences in the mean of scores of stress, anxiety, and depression
in the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, relaxation could reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in pregnant
women during six sessions. Due to the simplicity and low cost of this technique, it can be used to
reduce stress and anxiety in pregnant women and improve pregnancy outcomes.


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