Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Health Science (Hons.)


School of Nursing


Western Australian College of Advanced Education

First Advisor

Mr David Shorten


The application of ice to the perineal wound is a common treatment in the post partum period. There is little research available that evaluates the efficacy of ice therapy. This study examined the effects of ice therapy on the perineal wound in the first 24 hours post partum. An experimental design was used to test the hypothesis that the application of ice to the perineal wound, in the first 24 hours post partum, produces a significant reduction in reported pain and use of oral analgesia, and improvement in wound condition. A convenience sample of 58 post partum women from a non-teaching, metropolitan, public hospital were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The experimental group, in addition to the normal hospital routine, had icepacks applied to the perineum at four-hourly intervals in the first 24 hours post delivery. The control group underwent normal post par tum care, without the application of ice. A horizontal visual analogue scale was used to assess reported pain levels. The redness, oedema, ecchymosis, discharge, and approximation of skin edges (R.E.E.D.A.) tool was used to assess wound condition at one hour and twenty-four hours post partum. A T-test procedure was used to analyse the reported pain levels. Analysis of covariance was used to evaluate the R.E.E.D.A. scores. A significance level of p < .05 was set for all procedures. The results of the study indicate that ice therapy significantly improves the conOition of the perineal wound in the first 24 hours post partum, but has no effect on reported pain levels. The implication for nursing is that ice is recommended as an effective treatment of post partum perineal wounds.