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Pain Manag Nurs. 2012 Sep;13(3):127-38. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2010.10.035. Epub 2011 May 31.

Kangaroo care and behavioral and physiologic pain responses in very-low-birth-weight twins: a case study.

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  • 1University of Connecticut School of Nursing, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-2026, USA.


The purpose of this case study was to describe pain responses in three study conditions: longer (30 minutes) kangaroo care (KC) before and throughout heel stick (KC30), shorter (15 minutes) KC before and throughout heel stick (KC15), and incubator care throughout heel stick (IC) in 28-week gestational age twins. Pain responses were measured by crying time, Preterm Infant Pain Profile (PIPP), and heart rate variability indexes, including low-frequency power (LF, representing sympathetic activity), high-frequency power (HF, parasympathetic activity), and LF/HF ratio (sympathetic-parasympathetic balance). Both twins cried more and had higher PIPP pain scores and tachycardia during heel stick in the IC condition. Infant B had an incident of apnea and tachycardia by the end of the heel stick and a bradycardia episode during recovery in the IC condition. The twins had lower LF/HF ratios (better autonomic nervous system balance) during recovery in both longer and shorter KC conditions compared with the IC condition. Infant B had difficulty returning to LF/HF ratio baseline level after the painful procedure in the IC condition. These data suggest that both longer and shorter KC before and throughout painful procedures can be helpful in reducing behavioral and physiologic pain responses in preterm infants.

Copyright © 2012 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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