Preterm infant massage elicits consistent increases in vagal activity and gastric motility that are associated with greater weight gain.

Abstract

Aim: To determine whether preterm infant massage leads to consistent increases in vagal activity and gastric motility and whether these increases are associated with greater weight gain.

Methods: EKG and EGG were recorded in 80 preterm infants randomly assigned to a moderate pressure massage therapy group or to a standard care control group to assess vagal activity and gastric motility responses to massage therapy.

Results: Massaged infants exhibited consistent short-term increases in vagal activity and gastric motility on both the first and the last days of the 5-day study that were associated with weight gain during the 5-day treatment period. No changes in basal vagal activity or gastric motility were noted across the 5-day treatment period.

Conclusion: Preterm infant massage is consistently associated with increases in vagal activity and gastric motility that may underlie the effects of massage therapy on preterm infant weight gain.

 

Full article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1651-2227.2007.00476.x/abstract

 

Correspondence
Miguel A Diego, Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami School of Medicine, P.O. Box 016820, Miami, Florida 33101, USA. Tel: 305 243-6781 | Fax: 305 243-6488 | Email: mdiego@med.miami.edu