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Research about infant massage

Selected Recent Research Studies and Articles Relevant to Infant Massage Instruction

January 2013 to 2017, newest first

Sheidaei, Abadi, Zayeri, Nahidi, Gazerani, Mansouri. The effectiveness of massage therapy in the treatment of infantile colic symptoms: A randomized controlled trial.  Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 30. 2017.

Liu, C., and E. Tronick. “Neurobehavioural development in infancy: the buffering and transducing role of the mother/caretaker-infant dyad.” Child Psychology and Psychiatry–Frameworks for Practice, eds H. Bruce, D. Skuse, and L. Dowdney (Wiley (2016). This research paper argues that biological factors are insufficient in comprehending infant neurological development and proposes that infants’ physiological and behavioral systems are organized through receiving input from others, namely mothers. The authors posit that from the Mutual Regulation Perspective, the caregiver and infant maintain neurobehavioral coherence and organization by exchanging regulatory information, and the Buffer-Transducer Model which considers the mother’s depleting or enhancing capacities from her environment in the fostering or hindering of an infant’s neurobehavioral coherence and development.

Sheinkopf, Tenenbaum, Messinger, Miller-Loncar, Tronick, Lagasse, Shankaran, Bada, Bauer, Whitaker, Hammond, Lester. Maternal and Infant Affect at 4 months Predicts Performance and Verbal IQ at 4 and 7 Years in a Diverse Population. Developmental Science. 2016. This longitudinal study looked at maternal and infant affect and maternal vocalizations in 2-minute interactions at 4 months on IQ scores at 4.5 months and 7 years. Five-hundred and seventy infants were analyzed from the Maternal Lifestyle Study and results showed maternal positive affect and maternal positive vocalizations were predictors of both verbal and performance IQ at 4.5 and 7 years. Though infant positive affect during the interaction with the mother was not predictive of these outcome measures, infant positive affect towards an examiner predicted verbal but not performance IQ at 4.5 years.

Gribble. Promoting attachment in foster parents: what we can learn from the experience of parents of premature infants. Adoption & Fostering. 2016, Vol 40(2). 2016. It is advantageous for children in foster care to have caregivers who are strongly attached to them. However, foster parents may have difficulty attaching to the children placed in their care because they fear the grief they will feel if a child is removed. Parent-premature infant attachment can be assisted via the promotion of close proximity and nurturing touch, aiding parents to interpret their child’s cues and understand their needs. These also may be helpful to foster parents.

Rad, Haghshenas, Javadian, Hajiahmadi, Kazemian. The Effect of Massage on Weight Gain in Very Low Birth Weight Neonates. Journal of Clinical Neonatology. Vol 5 Issue 2 April-June 2016. 2016. In a study of 40 infants born early, those massaged three times a day for 15 minutes each time showed significantly more weight gain starting on the fourth day, and that was followed by earlier discharge. Massage therapy can promote weight gain in very low birth weight neonates and also leads to earlier discharge.

Jahari, Haghgou, Deemi, Rezaeiyan, Mosala Nejad. The Effect of Massage on Weight Gain of Low-Weight Hospitalized Infants: A Randomized Clinical Trial.  Physical Treatments. January 2016 Volume 5 Number 4. 2016. Randomized clinical trial. 45 LBW infants were assigned to groups. The group who had tactile-kinetic stimulation of three 15-minute massages a day, had significantly higher weight gain and a gain in height.

Hahn, Lengerich, Byrd, Stoltz, Hench, Byrd, Ford. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: The Experience of Infant Massage. Creative Nursing. 22(1). 2016. This qualitative study explored the responses of mothers with neonatal alcohol syndrome after taking an infant massage training (n=10 mother-infant pairs) in an NICU in Eastern United States. Themes derived from the analysis of the mother interviews include empowerment, enjoyment and bonding, and calm and comfort suggesting that infant massage helps alleviate withdrawal symptoms in infants while fostering a connection between mother and child.

Massage for Medically Fragile Infants. Massage Therapy Journal. 2016. This pilot longitudinal randomized control trial looked at infants in an NICU at academic medical center in Los Angeles to understand whether acutely ill infants could safely receive infant massage from a parent trained by a qualified infant massage instructor. In this seven-day trial, infants were randomly assigned to receive standard care or massage with standard care where a caregiver or massage therapist administered a 20-minute touch session. The experimental group appeared to have more congenital conditions based on their longer length of stay. Caregivers, however, reported lower levels of depression from baseline, with two reporting a continued decline in depression at the one-month follow-up. In addition, caregivers reported high levels of satisfaction on the relationship with the child at the one-month follow-up.

Dalili, Sheikhi, Shariat, Haghnazaria. Effects of baby massage on neonatal jaundice in health Iranian infants: A pilot study.  Infant Behavior & Development. 42. 2016. This study explored the effects of massage on transcutaneous bilirubin (TCB) levels and stool frequency of infants in Iran. Fifty infants were evenly divided into two groups, the massage group received 4 days of daily massage while the control group received routine care. Results showed the infants in the massage group had lower levels of TCB. Results from the stool comparison showed that control infants showed more defecation than the treatment group for the first day only.

Bahrami, Kiani, Noras. Massage for Infantile Colic: Review and Literature. International Journal of Pediatrics. 4(6). 2016. This literature review assessed and analyzed information on the control and treatment of infant colic through infant massage. Studies were gathered from PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, and Iranian databases such as SID, Magiran,and Iranmedex. Most articles provided the strongest evidence for benefits of massage in stress, anxiety reduction, pain control, cancer, skin disease, weight gain, sleep, promote growth, development in premature infants, neuromuscular and gastrointestinal disease such as infantile colic. The infantile colic massage helps relax the gastrointestinal tract and good digestion.

Barlow, Schrader-McMillan, Axford, Wrigley, Sonthalia, Wilkinson, Rawsthorn, Toft, Coad. Review: Attachment and attachment-related outcomes in preschool children-a review of recent evidence.  Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 1. 2016. This paper reviews primary and secondary sources that evaluate the effectiveness of interventions targeting the improvement of childhood attachment. Researched sought resources between 2008-2014 in sources such as Cochrane Collaboration, NICE, EPPI Centre, Campbell Collaboration and PubMed, PsychInfo, CINAHL databases. Six systematic reviews and 11 randomized controlled trials were identified that had evaluated the effectiveness of universal, selective or indicated interventions aimed at improving attachment and attachment-related outcomes in children aged 0–5 years. Potentially effective methods of improving infant attachment include parent–infant psychotherapy, video feedback and mentalisation-based programs. Methods that appear to be effective in improving attachment-related outcomes include home visiting and parenting programs.

Kim, Cho. Effects of tactile stimulation by father on physiological responses and paternal attachment in infants in the INCU: A pilot study. Journal of Child Health Care. 2016. This quasi-experimental study looked at the effectiveness of tactile stimulation by fathers on their infants’ physiological responses such as oxygen saturation levels, heart rates (HRs), and respiration rates (RRs) and fathers’ perceived levels of attachment to infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in South Korea. Infants in the experimental group received tactile stimulation by their father after receiving training for one 10-minute period per day, for five consecutive days. Overall, we found that tactile stimulation by fathers significantly stabilized infants’ physiological status, including oxygen saturation levels, HRs, and RRs and increased paternal attachment levels with large effect size.

Jabraelle, Rasooly, Farshi, Malakouti.  Effect of olive oil massage on weight gain in preterm infants: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Nigerian Medical Journal. 57(3). 2016. This single-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial 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).

Lai, D’Acunto, Guzzetta, Boyd, Rose, Fripp, Finnigan, Ngenda, Love, Whittingham, Pannek, Ware, Colditz. PREMM: preterm early massage by the mother: protocol of a randomized controlled trial of massage therapy in very preterm infants. BMC Pediatrics. 2016. This study has the potential to give insights into the mother-baby relationship and any positive effects of infant massage on neurodevelopment. An early intervention such as massage that is relatively easy to administer and could alter thetrajectory of preterm infant brain development, holds potential to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Field, Gonzalez, Diego, Mindell. Mothers massaging their newborns with lotion versus no lotion enhances mother’s and newborns’ sleep. Infant Behavior & Development. 45. 2016.

Yuen-Man, Ip, Choi. The Effect of Upper Limb Massage on Infants’ Venipuncture Pain. Pain Management Nursing. 2016.

Lee. The Effects of Infant Massage on Attachment Security of Infant-teacher and Teacher’s Happiness. Advanced Science and Technology Letters. 131. 2016.

Sale, Cioni.  Impact of infant massage on brain development. Chapter in Book: Environmental Experience and Plasticity of the Developing Brain. 2016.

Gerwitz, Youssef. How do Military Family Policies Influence Parenting Resources Available to Families? Chapter in Book: Parenting and Children’s Resilience in Military Families 2016.

Bennett, Underdown, Barlow. Cochrane Review Summary: Massage for promoting mental and physical health in typically developing infants under the age of six months. Primary Health Care Research & Development. 16. 2015. This paper looked at literature on effects of massage on healthy children under age 6 months. This review examined 34 trials including 3984 participants. Outcomes of the trials examined various body measurements, illness, service use, hormones, behavioral states, formula intake and mental health. Overall significant treatment effects were noted for physical outcomes from massage (for example increased weight, decreased crying/fussing time), however no significant effects for cortisol, duration of night sleep, sleep length over 24 h, upper respiratory infection or anemia were found. Analysis of mental health outcomes showed a significant effect at post-intervention for gross motor skills, fine motor skills and social behavior but not for language development. However, these studies were rated as high risk of bias. 

Trehub, Plantinga, Russo. Maternal Vocal Interactions with Infants: Reciprocal Visual Influences.  Social Development. 0. 2015. This literature review looks at the prevalence, consequences and features of postpartum depression (PPD) among teenage girls. This comprehensive review also looks at interventions and implications for future practice and research.

Juneau, Aita, Héon. Review and Critical Analysis of Massage Studies for Term and Preterm Infants. Neonatal Network. 34(3). 2015. This paper analyzed studies of effects of massage on preterm and term infants. Results of this literature review showed benefits for term infants such as improved weight gain, growth, sleep and decreased hyper-bilirubinemia while benefits for preterm infants included improved weight gain, interactions with parents, and decreased pain responses. Authors argue that studies were varied in regards to length of time and number of massages calling into question validity of the studies.

Nagia, Paul, Deorari, Sreenivas, Agarwal, Chawla. Topical Oil Application and Trans-Epidermal Water Loss in Preterm Very Low Birth Weight Infants—A Randomized Trial. Journal of Topical Pediatrics. 0. 2015. This study explored coconut oil’s ability to reduce trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) in preterm neonates. Study randomly assigned 37 infants to the massage group with coconut oil twice daily for a week, and 37 infants to the control group which received standard care. Based on results of skin swab tests that measured bacterial growth and skin condition, study found that TEWL was significant reduced with better skin condition and lower bacterial growth in the massage group vs. the control group.

Cooke, Cork, Victor, Campbell, Chittock, Lavender. Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil or no Oil for Baby Dry Skin or Massage: A Pilot, Assessor-blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial.  Acta Derm Venereol. 2015. This study investigated topical oils and their contribution to the development of childhood atopic eczema. One hundred and fifteen infants were assigned to sunflower oil, olive oil, or no oil twice daily for 4 weeks. In the treatment groups, infants were administered 4 drops on their skin in various body parts. Measurements of lipid lamellae, trans-epidermal water loss stratum corneum hydration and pH and recorded clinical observations showed improved hydration for the treatment groups, but less lipid lamellae structure than the control group. Additionally, no significant difference in scores were found in TEWL, pH or erythema.

Gnazzo, Guerriero, Folco, Zavattini, de Campora. Skin to skin interactions. Does the infant massage improve the couple functioning? Frontiers in Psychology. 6. 2015. This case study looked at effects of attending an infant massage on post-partum depression symptoms for a parent couple. The couple participated in a four-week class. Couple’s before and after treatment scores on the Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Parenting Stress Index-short Form and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support showed decreased depressive symptoms, and improved perception of parenting stress.

Mazzeschi, Pazzagli, Radi, Raspa, Buratta. Antecedents of maternal parenting stress: the role of attachment style, prenatal attachment, and dyadic adjustment in first-time mothers. Frontiers in Psychology. 6. 2015. This study explored the effect of mother’s prenatal attachment to the fetus and dyadic adjustment during pregnancy on stress levels at 3 months after childbirth. Results gathered from prenatal and postnatal measures of 70 nulliparous women participants showed that maternal attachment style (especially anxiety) was negatively correlated with prenatal attachment and with dyadic adjustment. Further, there was a positive correlation between prenatal attachment and dyadic adjustment. Both variables were a good predictor of parenting stress 3 months after childbirth.

Lin, Yang, Cheng, Yen. Effects of infant massage on jaundiced neonates undergoing phototherapy. Italian Journal of Pediatrics. 41:94. 2015. This study investigated effects of massage on jaundiced neonates receiving phototherapy. Fifty-six infants were either randomly assigned to the treatment group that received 15-20 minute massages twice daily for 3 days administered by the researcher, or the control group that did not receive massage therapy. Medical information such as total feeding amount, body weight, defecation frequency, and bilirubin level, was collected and compared between the treatment and control group. Results showed that infants in the treatment group showed significantly higher defecation frequency and significantly lower bilirubin levels as compared to the control group, however no significant differences in body weight and feeding amount was found.

Corbeil, Trehub, Peretz. Singing Delays the Onset of Infant Distress. Infancy. 2015. This study looked at the effects of singing on distress in infants. Thirty full-term infants participated in 2 experiments: one where infants listened to recordings of infant-directed (ID) speech, adult-directed speech, or singing in unfamiliar language (Turkish) and another where infants listened to natural recordings of ID speech or singing in a familiar language. In the first experiment, infants listened to singing twice as long as speech before meeting criterion for stress levels, and in the second experiment ID singing was more effective than speech for delaying onset of distress.

Tsivos, Calam, Sanders, Wittkowski. Interventions for postnatal depression assessing the mother–infant relationship and child developmental outcomes: a systematic review.  Internal Journal of Women’s Health. 7. 2015. This literature review looked at 19 studies to investigate the effectiveness of interventions for postnatal depression(PND), which assesses the quality of the mother-infant dyad relationship and/or child outcomes in addition to maternal mood. Methodological quality was evaluated, effect sizes across maternal mood, quality of relationship, and child development outcomes were analyzed. Clinical implications for PND treatment were included, as well as recommendations for further research.

Mirmohammadali, Hosseini-Baharanchi, Dehkordi, Delaram. The Effect of Massage with Oils on the Growth of Term Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Open Journal of Pediatrics. 5. 2015. This study explored the effects of mother-administered massage with oils on growth of full-term infants. Two hundred seventeen infants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: massage with sunflower oil, massage with sesame oil, massage without oil, or no massage. Massage was administered by mothers twice daily for 4 days a week. Findings showed that infant’s height and weight was significantly different among the four groups. In the sunflower oil group mean weight was significantly increased and in the sesame oil and sunflower massage group infant’s height gain was significantly increased.

Galanakis, Ntaouti, Tsitsanis, Chrousos. The Effects of Infant Massage on Maternal Distress: A Systematic Review.  Psychology. 6. 2015. This review examined 6 articles on the effects of infant massage on material stress and the mother-infant relationship. This analysis made a distinction between tactile-only stimulation without social contact and multi-sensory interventions, arguing that the former is associated with higher levels of stress and overstimulation in infants.

Porter, Porter, McCoy, Bango-Sanchez, Kissel, Williams, Nunnewar. Blended Infant Massage Parenting Enhancement Program on Recovering Substance-Abusing Mothers’ Parenting Stress, Self-Esteem, Depression, Maternal Attachment, and Mother-Infant Interaction.  Asian Nursing Research. 9. 2015. This study explored whether a blended Infant Massage Parenting Enhancement Program (IMPEP) improved maternal psychosocial health outcomes (parenting stress, depressive symptoms, self-esteem, maternal attachment) and maternal-infant interaction among substance-addicted mothers (SAMs) actively engaged in outpatient rehabilitation. One hundred thirty-eight recovering SAM-infant pairs were divided into one of three groups: IMPEP, PEP, or standard care parenting resources with classes. Through data gathered from observations, self-administered questionnaires, and interviews from baseline and at the final week 12, the study found that infant massage blended into a structured parenting program decreased parenting stress and maternal depressive symptoms, but not on SAM’s self-esteem, attachment, or maternal-infant interaction.

Basiri-Moghadam, Kianmehr, Jani. The effect of massage on neonatal jaundice in stable preterm newborn infants: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association. 65.6. 2015. This clinical trial looked at the effects of massage therapy on transcutaneous bilirubin of 40 stable preterm infants in an NICU in Iran. The infants were randomly assigned into two even groups, a massage group that underwent 4 days of routine therapy with an additional 20 minutes of massage twice daily, while the control group received routine therapy for the same time period with transcutaneous bilirubin and excretion frequency noted on from the first to fourth day of the intervention. There was a significant difference in the number of times of defecation and in the level of bilirubin between the groups with those in the massage group having a higher number of defecations as well as a lower level of transcutaneous bilirubin concluding that massage therapy can control the bilirubin level and delay phototherapy for preterm newborns.

Choi, Kim, Oh, Lee, Kim, Kang. The effects of massage therapy on physical growth and gastrointestinal function in premature infants: A pilot study. Journal of Child Health Care. 20(3). 2015. This study looked at the effects of massage therapy on increasing growth and promoting gastrointestinal function in premature infants in an NICU in South Korea. The experimental group (n =10) were given massage therapy and the control group (n=10) received routine care. Massage therapy was performed twice daily for 14 days, for 15 minutes per session by two NICU nurses trained by the author. In the physical growth, height and chest circumference were significantly increased in the experimental group. In assessing gastrointestinal function, frequency of pre-feed gastric residual was significantly decreased and numbers of bowel movements were significantly increased in the experimental group.

Neu, Schmiege, Pan, Fehringer, Workman, Marcheggianni-Howard, Furuta. Interactions During Feeding with Mothers and Their Infants with Symptoms of Gastroesophagal Reflux.  The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 20(6). 2014. This article looked at the child-mother interaction during feedings wherein the child had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Further, this study explored whether massage improved such interactions. Infants diagnosed with GERD were randomly assigned to a treatment group (n=18) that received 30 minute massages twice weekly for 6 weeks administered by a certified infant massage therapist, or a control group (n=18) without massage where a registered nurse of physical therapist held the infant for the same time period. The scores on the Nursing Child Assessment of Feeding Scale (NCAFS) showed that interactions wherein children have a GERD diagnosis are worse than the national norm. Furthermore, there was some improvement of interaction in the massage group over the control group in the areas of Sensitivity to Cues, Social-Emotional Growth Fostering, Cognitive Growth Fostering, and Clarity of Cues.

Leiberman, Blair, Dimidjian. Postpartum Depression Among Adolescent Mothers: A Comprehensive Review of Prevalence, Course, Correlates, Consequences, and Interventions.  Clinical Psychology Science and Practice. 21. 2014. This literature review looks at the prevalence, consequences and features of postpartum depression (PPD) among teenage girls. This comprehensive review also looks at interventions and implications for future practice and research.

Le, Perry. A systematic review of perinatal depression interventions for adolescent mothers. Journal of Adolescence. 37. 2014. This research paper reviewed 9 articles for treatment interventions for perinatal depression on low income, minority adolescents. Research identified two treatment studies that reduced depression, and 8 prevention studies half of which prevented depression. However, no consistent characteristics could be identified suggesting the need for more studies on this population.

Tinelli, Bargagna, Bozza, Bastiani, Cioni. Effect of early multisensory massage intervention on visual functions in infants with Down syndrome. Early Human Development. 90. 2014. This study researched 20 infants with Down Syndrome to explore the effect of massage on the function of visual development. Infants were divided into 2 groups, the massage group of 20 minute massages once daily for 5 weeks administered by parents, or the standard care group for the same time period. Based on results of visual acuity, the massage group showed significantly higher visual acuity at 6 months of age an accelerated development up to age 12 months as compared to the control group.

Valizadeh, Hosseini, Jafarabadi, Mohammadzad. Effect of Vimala Massage on Physiological Jaundice in Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Caring Sciences. 3(3). 2014. This study explores the effects of Vimala massage on neonatal physiological Jaundice. Forty-three infants were randomly assigned to the treatment group (n=26) which received three 15-minute massage sessions for 4 days of Vimala massage, while the control group (n=28) received standard care. Through comparison and examination of transcutaneous bilirubin and frequency of defecation, results found no significant difference between groups for skin bilirubin, but found a significantly higher number of defecations in the intervention group.

Sheth. Comparative Effect of Massage Therapy versus Kangaroo Mother Care on Body Weight and Length of Hospital Stay in Low Birth Weight Preterm Infants. International Journal of Pediatrics. 2014. This study compared the effectiveness of massage therapy (MT) and kangaroo mother care (KMC) on body weight and length of hospital stay in low birth weight preterm infants. Thirty infants were randomly divided into 2 equal groups where one group received MT and the other received KMC for 15 minutes thrice daily for 5 days. Data found that both MT and KMC were effective in improving body weight and reducing length of hospital stay.

A Magic Touch: Deaf Gain and the Benefits of Tactile Sensation. Book:Deaf Gain 2014. Author argues that touch and tactile sense contributes to overall cognitive awareness and intelligence. Author states that when a sense is absent, other senses become more developed, one of which is tactile sensitivity. Benefits of massage on infants are discussed.

Chapter Title: Infant Massage. Book Title: Touch. 2014. This chapter describes the prevalence of infant massage in the world and describes its introduction in the United States. Author describes benefits of massage for full and preterm infants by explaining results of research studies and the underlying neurobiological reasons for the benefits. Special infant populations are explored such as cocaine-exposed preterm infants and HIV-exposed neonates. Benefits of massage on pregnant women are discussed as well as the effects of depressed mothers administering infant massage to their children. This chapter also discusses fathers and grandparents administering infant massage.

NICU Nurses’ Attitudes Regarding Preterm Infant Massage. Dissertation. 2014.

Haley, Slater, Beachy, Smith. Massage Improves Growth Quality by Decreasing Body Fat Deposition in Male Preterm Infants.  The Journal of Pediatrics. 162. 2013. This study looked at the effects of massage on weight gain and body fat deposition in preterm infants. Forty-four infants were randomly assigned to a massage group (massage twice daily for 20 minutes, 6 days a week for 4 weeks administered by a licensed massage therapist) or a control group (where the licensed massage therapist stood quietly by the infant’s bedside for the same time period as the treatment group). Results showed that massage did not increase weight gain, however, massage decreased circulating adiponectin thereby limiting body fat deposition in male preterm infants only.

Bracht, Macdonnell, McBride, Robson, O’Leary, Christie, Galarza, Dicky, Levin, Lee. A pilot cohort analytic study of Family Integrated Care in a Canadian neonatal intensive care unit.  BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. 13. 2013. This paper looks at the feasibility, safety, and outcomes for implementing a model (Family Integrated Care; FIC) that emphasizes care primarily administered by the parent, and teaching and counseling provided by nurses, in a Canadian NICU. Forty-two mothers took part in the pilot project which required that they spend at least 8 hours a day with their infant(n=31). A record for each infant participant was matched with 62 controls of the past year’s clinical database. Results showed significantly higher weight gain, significant increase in the incidence of breastfeeding at discharge, and reports of decreased parental stress at discharge in the FIC group as compared to the control. Parents and nurses indicated that FIC was feasible and appropriately implemented.

Li, Weber. The Financial Costs of Sadness. Psychological Science. 24(1). 2013. This study coined a term myopic misery, namely the phenomenon wherein due to sadness, people become impatient and focus on the immediate obtainment of money rather than waiting. In their experiment, people were assigned to a sad or neutral group and then were offered an inter-temporal choice, while a third group disgust served as a comparison condition. Findings showed that people in the median sad group were more present based and preferred to acquire money immediately rather than wait 3 months for a payment 13-34% larger. However, the disgust participants were not more impatient.

Haley, Slater, Moyer-Mileur. Heart rate variability during caregiving and sleep after massage therapy in preterm infants. Early Human Development. 89. 2013. This literature review looks at the prevalence, consequences and features of postpartum depression (PPD) among teenage girls. This comprehensive review also looks at interventions and implications for future practice and research.

Darmstadt, Bhutta. Emollient therapy for preterm newborn infants–evidence from the developing world. BMC Public Health. 13. 2013. This literature review researched 7 studies and one unpublished trial of emollient therapy and found that it improved weight gain, reduced infection, and was associated with newborn mortality in neonates.

Badr, Hawwari. The efficacy of massage on short and long term outcomes in preterm infants. Infant Behavior and Development. 36. 2013. This study assessed the short and long term benefits of massage on stable preterm infants. Sixty-six infants were assigned to either the massage therapy group (n=32 that received massage by their mothers for 10 minutes at a minimum of 10 times) or the control group (n=34). Comparison of data such as weight at discharge, pain responses on the Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP) scale at discharge, length of stay in hospital, neuro-developmental outcome (Bayley scores) and breastfeeding duration at 12 showed that infants in the treatment group had significantly lower PIPP scores before massage and at discharge. Additional results included higher cognitive scores at 12 months in the massage group compared to the control group. Weight gain, length of stay, breastfeeding duration and motor scores did not differ between groups.

Impact of a novel relaxation method of touch on neonatal neurobehavioral development among very preterm infants. 2013. This St. Louis-based study tested the effect of the M Technique (gentle touch tolerable to fragile patients) on infant neurodevelopment, growth velocity, and physiologic and behavioral state in hospitalized very preterm infants in a level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Data such as heart rate, respiratory rate, arterial oxygen saturation, and Anderson Behavioral State Scale were gathered. Infants were randomly assigned either to the experimental group (n=10) which received routine NICU care as well as 7 minutes of M Technique 6 times per week, while the control group (n=3) received routine care only. At the end of the 5-week period, The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale was administered, and results showed that infants in the massage and control group did not differ significantly in growth velocity and developmental measures, however experimental infants has improved physiological stability and more quiet sleep from baseline to 10 minutes the post M Technique intervention.

Sheykhi, Abdeyazdan, Jodakee, Boroumandfar. A comparative study on vaccination pain in the methods of massage therapy and mothers’ breast feeding during injection of infants referring to Navabsafavi Health Care Center in Isfahan. Sheykhi, Abdeyazdan, Jodakee, Boroumandfar. Iran Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 18(6). 2013. This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 96 infants in Iran to see the differences in pain relief after receiving vaccinations when breastfeeding or after massage. Infants were randomly assigned to three groups: vaccination with no intervention (control), massage group where the infants’ pain or sole was massaged for 60 sec before the vaccination, or the breastfeeding group where infants suckled and then were vaccinated while suckling. Pain intensity was measured by the National Infant Pain Scale and other behaviors. The results of the study showed that mother’s breast feeding during vaccination injection reduced pain more than massage therapy, with the control group yielding the highest pain intensity.

Updated 3/2017.