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Niger Med J. 2016 May-Jun;57(3):160-3. doi: 10.4103/0300-1652.184060.

Effect of olive oil massage on weight gain in preterm infants: A randomized controlled clinical trial.

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Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.



Despite the fact that effect of massage with or without oil on the baby's weight gain is not clear, but recent studies have shown that massage with essential oils make lipid absorption through the skin. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of olive oil massage on weight gain in preterm infants.


This study was a single-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial. In this study, infants who met inclusion criteria for the study were divided into two groups by using random numbers table. Newborns in intervention group were under massage for 10 days and 3 times for 15 min daily; the mother of these newborns had been trained already using olive oil. Moreover, the infants of the control group were under massaging without oil same as the above-mentioned method. Researchers weighed babies daily during 10 days and recorded it at the checklist. Data from the study were reviewed and analyzed by descriptive statistics and repeated measure test using the statistical software SPSS/13.


This study showed that the neonatal weight gain in the infants with the oil massage was 21 g daily in average, whereas the increase in infant massage without oil was 7 g. This difference was statistically significant (P < 0.001).


Considering the positive effect of infant massage on weight gain in premature infants with olive oil, it is recommended that nurses use oil in infant massage in the neonatal units.


Massage; olive oil; prematurity; weight gain

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