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J Pak Med Assoc. 2015 Jun;65(6):602-6.

The effect of massage on neonatal jaundice in stable preterm newborn infants: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

Social Development & Health Promotion Research Center, Iran.
Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Iran.
BS. in Nursing, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran.



To evaluate the effects of massage therapy on transcutaneous bilirubin of stable preterm infants.


The controlled clinical trial was conducted in 2014 at Shahid Hasheminejhad Hospital, Iran, and comprised preterm neonatal children in the neonatal intensive care unit. The newborns were divided into two groups of massage and control via random allocation. The children in the control group received the routine therapy whereas those in the massage group underwent the same four days of routine plus 20 minutes of massage twice a day. The transcutaneous bilirubin and the number of excretions of the newborns were noted from the first to the fourth day of the intervention and results were compared between the two groups.


There were 40 newborns in the study l 20(50%) each in the two groups. There was a significant difference in the number of times of defecation (p=0.002) and in the level of bilirubin (p=0.003) between the groups with those in the massage group having a higher number of defecations as well as a lower level of transcutaneous bilirubin.


Through massage therapy the bilirubin level in preterm newborns can be controlled and a need for phototherapy can also be delayed.


Neonatal jaundice, Massage, Preterm infants, Transcutaneous bilirubin.

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