Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Sandra L. Lovell


This investigation determined the difference in the incidence of spinal headache in 33 patients placed in 30 degrees (°) head-up position versus 33 patients who remained flat for four hours following the administration of spinal anesthesia. An experimental design was used. The two randomly assigned groups presented for elective postpartum tubal ligation under spinal anesthesia. Group A was placed flat and group B had the head of their beds elevated 30° postoperatively. Strict procedural protocol was adhered to prior to and during the administration of the spinal anesthetic. To determine if the patients had any symptoms consistent with spinal headache, patients were visited postoperatively in the hospital and were contacted again on the seventh to ninth postoperative day. Pain in the frontal and/or occipital area which was aggravated by sitting up and relieved by lying down was used as the criteria for spinal headache. The data were analyzed using the Fisher Exact Test.

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of headache between the postpartum tubal ligation patients who were placed flat postoperatively and those who had the head of their bed elevated 30° (p = 1). The null hypothesis was therefore supported at p > .05. The findings support relaxing restrictions placed on patient's positioning following spinal anesthesia.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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VCU Theses and Dissertations

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Nursing Commons