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Parent-Administered Oral Stimulation in Preterm Infants: A Randomized, Controlled, Open-Label Pilot StudyFunding This research was supported by the Eu-Brain non-profit association (nonprofit association).
Objective The study aimed to assess whether there was any difference in the transition time to full oral feedings between parent-administered and professional-administered premature infant oral motor intervention (PIOMI). The study also evaluated parental satisfaction with performing the intervention through an open-ended questionnaire.
Study Design A single-center, randomized, controlled, open-label pilot study was carried on between March 2017 and May 2019. A total of 39 infants born ≤32 weeks' gestation were randomly assigned to either parent-performed or professionally performed oral stimulation. The oral stimulation was performed once a day for seven consecutive days between 31 and 32 weeks' postmenstrual age.
Results There was no statistically significant difference in transition time, weight gain, or length of hospital stay between the two groups. No adverse events were observed. Parents' satisfaction was high, and their active involvement enhanced their perception of adequacy to care for their infant.
Conclusion Following adequate training, a parent-administered PIOMI may be considered in preterm infants to reduce the transition time to full oral feeding and enhance the direct involvement of parents in neonatal care.
No difference in transition time between parent-performed and professional-performed PIOMI.
PIOMI may be delivered by parents following appropriate training.
Active involvement of parents may improve the parent-infant bonding.
Keywordsoral feeding - oral motor intervention - premature infant oral motor intervention - preterm infant - transition time
M.M., B.L.K., and L.A.R. conceptualized and designed the study. M.M., M.P., and S.S. were responsible for protocol development, patient screening and enrollment, data collection, performing the intervention in the professional group, and drafting the initial manuscript. M.G.C. contributed to the study design and performed the statistical analysis and wrote a section of the manuscript. M.M. and L.C.D. contributed to the conceptualization of the study, performed initial data analysis, wrote sections of the manuscript, and critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors contributed to revision of the manuscript, red and approved the submitted version.
Received: 23 November 2020
Accepted: 12 May 2021
Article published online:
28 June 2021
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