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Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2013 May;98(3):F244-8. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2011-301469. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Effect of therapeutic touch on brain activation of preterm infants in response to sensory punctate stimulus: a near-infrared spectroscopy-based study.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, 377-2 Ohno-Higashi, Osakasayama, Osaka 589-8511, Japan. noritsugu.honda@sayama.med.kindai.ac.jp

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to determine whether therapeutic touch in preterm infants can ameliorate their sensory punctate stimulus response in terms of brain activation measured by near-infrared spectroscopy.

METHODS:

The study included 10 preterm infants at 34-40 weeks' corrected age. Oxyhaemoglobin (Oxy-Hb) concentration, heart rate (HR), arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) and body movements were recorded during low-intensity sensory punctate stimulation for 1 s with and without therapeutic touch by a neonatal development specialist nurse. Each stimulation was followed by a resting phase of 30 s. All measurements were performed with the infants asleep in the prone position.

RESULTS:

sensory punctate stimulus exposure significantly increased the oxy-Hb concentration but did not affect HR, SaO2 and body movements. The infants receiving therapeutic touch had significantly decreased oxy-Hb concentrations over time.

CONCLUSIONS:

Therapeutic touch in preterm infants can ameliorate their sensory punctate stimulus response in terms of brain activation, indicated by increased cerebral oxygenation. Therefore, therapeutic touch may have a protective effect on the autoregulation of cerebral blood flow during sensory punctate stimulus in neonates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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