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Acta Paediatr. 2007 Oct;96(10):1430-2. Epub 2007 Aug 20.

Stimulation of sucking and swallowing to promote oral feeding in premature infants.

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Department of Paediatrics, Sykehuset Innlandet Trust, Lillehammer, Norway.



To study the effect of stimulation of sucking and swallowing on weaning from nasogastric (NG) feeding and length of hospital stay in premature infants.


Randomized controlled trial with blinded evaluation. Premature infants on NG feeds and post-menstrual age (PMA) less than 36 weeks who had poor ability to suck were randomized to receive one daily session of stimulation according to Vojta or no intervention other than standard nursing care.


Of 36 infants, 18 received stimulation and 18 were observed without intervention. Mean gestational age at birth was 32.2 weeks (SD 2.4) versus 31.4 (2.3) weeks, p = 0.27, and PMA at study entry 35.1 weeks (0.8) versus 34.4 (0.9) weeks, p = 0.01, respectively. NG feeding was discontinued at 36.8 weeks (0.9) versus 36.3 (0.9) weeks' PMA, p = 0.25, and they were discharged at 37.8 weeks (0.9) versus 37.7 (1.3) weeks, p = 0.81.


The stimulation programme did not result in earlier weaning from NG feeding or earlier discharge. However, such studies may need to be large to limit the possibility of type II errors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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