Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine “Does dance therapy during active labor decrease labor pain?”

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of two randomized control trials and a cohort study that were published in English between 2014 and 2020.

DATA SOURCES: Three studies were obtained from PubMed, Alt HealthWatch, and AMED. They were all published in peer-reviewed journals and chosen based on their relevance to the clinical question proposed.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: The main outcome measured in all three studies is pain during active labor. Pain was measured in all studies using the visual analog scale (VAS). Participants were administered the VAS multiple times throughout active labor.

RESULTS: In the RCT by Abdolahain et al., there was significant reduction in pain when labor dance was performed compared to the control group The mean pain difference at 60 minutes was 0.43 with a statistically significant p-value of 0.036. The RCT by Gönenç et al. demonstrated a reduction in pain with labor dance compared to the control. This study reports a mean pain difference of 1.59 at 60 minutes and a statistically significant p-value of <0.05 The cohort study by Akin et al. demonstrated a mean pain difference of 0.46 at 9cm of cervical dilation when comparing the labor dance to control groups, with a statistically significant p-value <0.014.

CONCLUSIONS: All three studies reviewed demonstrated statistical significance based on calculated p-values. The results show labor dance is an effective strategy to reduce active labor pain. Future studies could be conducted in different geographical regions, cultures, focused on dance throughout pregnancies’ effect on labor pain, and evaluation of participants’ previous pain tolerance before labor.