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Pain. 2008 Sep 30;139(1):28-33. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2008.02.031. Epub 2008 Apr 22.

Evaluation of analgesic effect of skin-to-skin contact compared to oral glucose in preterm neonates.

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Faculty of Physiotherapy, CEST, São Luis, Maranhão, Brazil.


Nonpharmacological interventions are important alternatives for pain relief during minor procedures in preterm neonates. Skin-to-skin contact or kangaroo mother care is a human and efficient way of caring for low-weight preterm neonates. The aim of the present study was to assess the analgesic effect of kangaroo care compared to oral glucose on the response of healthy preterm neonates to a low-intensity acute painful stimulus. Ninety-five preterm neonates with a postmenstrual age of 28-36 weeks were randomly assigned to three groups in a single-blind manner. In group 1 (isolette, n=33), the neonate was in the prone position in the isolette during heel lancing and did not receive analgesia. In group 2 (kangaroo method, n=31), the neonate was held in skin-to-skin contact for 10 min before and during the heel-lancing procedure. In group 3 (glucose, n=31), the neonate was in the prone position in the isolette and received oral glucose (1 ml, 25%) 2 min before heel lancing. A smaller variation in heart rate (p=0.0001) and oxygen saturation (p=0.0012), a shorter duration of facial activity (brow bulge, eye squeeze and nasolabial furrowing) (p=0.0001), and a lower PIPP (Premature Infant Pain Profile) score (p=0.0001) were observed in group 2. In conclusion, skin-to-skin contact produced an analgesic effect in preterm newborns during heel lancing.

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