The Effect of the CALM Scale on Narcotic Use in Laboring Women

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ashley Jarrell (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Terry Wicks

Abstract: Background: Standardized, numerical (0-10) pain scales are ineffective methodologies for assessing pain in laboring women. Pain associated with labor is a physiologically expected experience, differentiating labor pain from other pain etiologies. Labor is not a pain-free process, and pain-free labor is not a realistic outcome. Numerical pain scales lack the subjectivity needed to assess laboring women and often result in frequent narcotic administration. The CALM Scale offers a more efficient and descriptive measurement to assess and treat labor pain.Purpose: The purpose of this project is to determine if the use of the CALM Scale reduces narcotic use in laboring women versus the use of a numeric pain scale. Methods: A pre-test post-test design was used to examine narcotic use with the implementation of the CALM Scale. A non-parametric statistical test was utilized for the analysis of narcotic use. Multiple regressions were conducted for the analysis of patient demographics. Results: The use of the CALM Scale showed no statistical significance in reducing narcotic use in laboring women (p=.53, p=.82). The multiple regression model significantly predicted total narcotic count (p<.001) with BMI, age, and one-minute APGAR. No statistical significance was noted for epidural use and CALM Scale use (p=.73). The results suggest the need for further examination of the relationship between the numeric pain scale and the CALM Scale with APGAR scores, age, and BMI. Future research should also examine the use of the CALM Scale over longer periods with consideration for differing contexts.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
CALM Scale, Labor Pain, Pain Assessment, Narcotic, Opioid

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