The effects of massage therapy on weight gain, length of stay and motor development in preterm very low birth weight infants : a pilot randomised controlled trial

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The effects of massage therapy on weight gain, length of stay and motor development in preterm very low birth weight infants : a pilot randomised controlled trial

 

Author: Ho, Yuen-bing
Title: The effects of massage therapy on weight gain, length of stay and motor development in preterm very low birth weight infants : a pilot randomised controlled trial
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Premature infants -- Care.
Premature infants -- Development.
Massage therapy.
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: xiv, 99 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2174179
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3098
Abstract: Purpose: A randomized controlled clinical trial was used to investigate effects of massage therapy on weight gain, length of hospital stay and motor outcome of infants bom very preterm with very low birth weight (VLBW). Methods: Twenty-four VLBW (<34weeks & <1500g) infants were randomized into an intervention group or control group. The intervention group (n=12) received moderate pressure massage (15-minute daily, 5 days a week for 4 weeks) during hospital stay. The control group (n=12) received similar duration of light still touch (sham massage). Both groups were assessed before and after treatment (at 34 and 38 weeks post-conceptional age) using the Test of Infant Motor Performance (TIMP). The weight gain, TIMP scores gain and length of stay were compared between both groups. Results: Following massage therapy, the intervention group did not have significantly more improvement in weight, TIMP scores, and length of hospital stay. Significant treatment effects were, however, observed in a subgroup of infants with a below average initial TEMP score (TEMP at 34 weeks PCA <35, n=l 1). Motor performance as measured by gains in TIMP score was 7.1 points or 26.1% more in the intervention group (p=0.04). The intervention infants also spent an average of 36.4 days or 42.2 % less in the hospital (p=0.04). They were discharged at an average age of 38 weeks PCA, which was 3.9 weeks earlier than the control group (p=0.05). Conclusion: Massage therapy does not significantly affect weight gain, length of stay and motor performance of healthy preterm VLBW infants at term age. Preliminary evidence suggests that massage therapy promotes earlier discharge and early motor development at term age in preterm VLBW infants showing a below average initial TIMP score at 34 weeks PCA. Massage therapy is relatively low risk, and it is a potential early intervention strategy to be introduced in local neonatal units to promote early developmental outcomes of the high risk infants. Further studies are recommended in areas of long term benefits of this type of massage therapy.

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