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Early Hum Dev. 2010 Jan;86(1):7-11. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2009.12.001. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

Massage therapy improves neurodevelopment outcome at two years corrected age for very low birth weight infants.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Medical School, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and Newborn Section, Hospital de ClĂ­nicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. renatosp@terra.com.br <renatosp@terra.com.br>

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Long term effects of massage therapy in very preterm newborns infants are still to be described. Few studies evaluated neurodevelopment just at six months, and included late preterm infants.

OBJECTIVE:

To study the effect of massage therapy on neurodevelopment of very low birth weight infants at two years corrected age.

STUDY DESIGN:

Newborns with birth weight between >or= 750 and <or= 1500 g and gestational age <or= 32 weeks were randomly assigned to massage therapy by mothers plus skin-to-skin care (Intervention Group) or just skin-to-skin care (Control Group) during their hospital stay. Growth and neurodevelopment outcome were evaluated at 2 years corrected age.

RESULTS:

We followed 73 newborns (35 in Intervention Group, and 38 in Control Group). Both groups were similar in neonatal data. Growth at 2 years corrected age was similar in both groups. Intervention Group had borderline higher Psychomotor Development Index and significantly higher Mental Development Index scores than Control Group.

CONCLUSIONS:

We suggest that massage therapy by mothers combined to skin-to-skin care during neonatal hospital stay improves neurodevelopment outcome at 2 years corrected age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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