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Photobiomodulation: a cultural nursing intervention for physical and psychological adaptation

02 May 2022
19 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 5



Wellbeing among postpartum women needs to be assessed. This article aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of photobiomodulation near infrared as a cultural nursing intervention for postpartum women in Indonesia.


A research and development study design was undertaken from 2018 to 2020 in three stages to evaluate the effectiveness of photobiomodulation near infrared: a phenomenological study (n=20), a pre-experimental study (n=80) and a quasi-experimental design (n=90). Data were analysed using one-way ANOVA and a Kruskal–Wallis test.


Three themes emerged from the qualitative study that focused on development tools. Photobiomodulation near infrared was developed to cover postpartum women's needs. Significant statistical differences were found in multiple outcome measures after implementing photobiomodulation near infrared.


Photobiomodulation near infrared is a promising intervention for postpartum mothers.

Haemorrhage problems have become the leading cause of maternal mortality, with the rate at 27% in developing countries (World Health Organization et al, 2015). Postpartum haemorrhage can occur in the first critical 24–48 hours after birth (Cabero-Roura and Rushwan, 2014). A total of 11.4% of postpartum complications in Indonesia include bleeding in the birth canal, discharge from the birth canal, swelling of the hands and face, headaches, convulsions, fever for more than 2 days, swollen breasts and hypertension (Banlitbangkes, 2019). In addition, postpartum complications may cause psychological problems, such as anxiety, potentially leading to postpartum depression (Shahar et al, 2015). However, many postpartum mothers in Indonesia (50.1%) do not know that this can be a problem; therefore, they do not seek help (Banlitbangkes, 2019).

To overcome the issue of postpartum complications in mothers, cultural biopsychosocial assistance, information and support are needed (Wiklund et al, 2019). Indonesia has a cultural diversity inherent in everyday life and healthcare and culture-based postpartum maternal care is required (Banlitbangkes, 2019). Nurses play a role in facilitating family-orientated motherhood, including continuity, participation, mothers' adaptation, consistency, information and preparation for childcare (Wiklund et al, 2019) with a cultural approach (Hodikoh and Setyowati, 2015). In the present study, a transcultural-nursing theoretical framework was used. This framework provides nursing services with consideration for the local culture of postpartum women and their families. Cultural aspects include values, norms and ways of life that guide people to think, decide and act in certain ways (Leininger, 2001; Andrews and Boyle, 2002). Nursing care should be adjusted to the procedures, customs and traditions of the community, as long as they do not conflict with health principles (Alligood and Tomey, 2014).

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