Effects of tactile/kinesthetic stimulation on the clinical course and sleep/wake behavior of preterm neonates

Frank A. Scafidi, Tiffany M. Field, Saul M. Schanberg, Charles R. Bauer, Nitza Vega-Lahr, Robert Garcia, John Poirier, Gerald Nystrom, Cynthia M. Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forty preterm neonates treated in an intensive care nursery (M gestational age= 31 weeks, M birthweight=1274 gms) were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. The treatment infants received tactile/kinesthetic stimulation (body massage and passive movements of the limbs) for three 15-min periods during three consecutive hours for a 10-day period. At the end of the treatment period the behavioral states and activity level of the neonates were monitored during sleep/wake behavior observations. In addition, neonatal behaviors were assessed on the Brazelton scale. The treated infants averaged a 47% greater weight gain per day (25 vs. 17 grams), and spent more time awake and active during sleep/wake behavior observations. On the Brazelton scale the treated infants showed more mature orientation, motor, habituation, and range of state behaviors. Finally, the treated infants were discharged 6 days earlier yielding hospital cost savings of $3,000 per infant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-105
Number of pages15
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

Keywords

  • neonates
  • preterm
  • stimulation
  • tactile/kinesthetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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