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Early Hum Dev. 2002 Apr;67(1-2):37-45.

Massage therapy by mothers and trained professionals enhances weight gain in preterm infants.

Author information

1
Department of Neonatology, Wolfson Medical Center, Tel Giborim, Holon, Israel.ferbers@post.tau.ac.il

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The method of "massage therapy" has consistently shown increased weight gain in preterm infants. The weight gain was apparent during massages administered by professionals.

AIMS:

To replicate the results of increased weight gain in the course of "massage therapy" in preterm infants, and utilize a new, cost-effective application of this method by comparing maternal to nonmaternal administration of the therapy.

STUDY DESIGN:

Random cluster design.

SUBJECTS:

The study comprised 57 healthy, preterm infants assigned to three groups: two treatment groups--one in which the mothers performed the massage, and the other in which a professional female figure unrelated to the infant administered the treatment. Both these groups were compared to a control group.

RESULTS:

Over the 10-day study period, the two treatment groups gained significantly more weight compared to the control group (291.3 and 311.3 vs. 225.5 g, respectively). Calorie intake/kg did not differ between groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mothers are able to achieve the same effect size as that of trained professionals, allowing cost-effective application of the treatment within the neonatal intensive care unit.

PMID:
11893434
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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