Premature infants undergo a lot of stressors during treatment procedures in the neonatal intensive care units which causes significant physiological changes in these neonates. Multi-sensory stimulation is a broad category of interventions designed to improve the evolutionary and physiological outcomes of premature infants hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit to minimize stress in this environment. So, the study aimed to evaluate the effect of multi-sensory stimulation on physiological parameters in preterm infants.
This double-blind clinical trial conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit of Shahid Motahari Hospital in Jahrom from April to December 2016. In this study, 80 preterm infants with a gestational age of 34 to 36 weeks were selected by non-probability sampling method and were randomly divided into two groups of multi-sensory stimulation and control. Neonates in the intervention group received a multi-sensory stimulation program for 60 minute. The multi-sensory stimulation program was included a combination of auditory, tactile, motor and visual stimulation. The preterm infants in the control group received only usual care. The data collecting tool was a questionnaire and checklist for physiological parameters of preterm infants.
The results showed that the two groups were homogeneous in terms of fetal age, birth weight, the height of birth, first and fifth minute Apgar score of birth. The results showed that there was no significant difference between the mean of physiological indexes in the two groups before the intervention. Statistical tests showed that there was a decreasing trend in the average of all physiological indices during the intervention (first and second half during the intervention) (P<0.001), However, these changes were not significant in the control group (P<0.05). Also, analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures showed that there was a significant difference between changes in physiological variables between the two groups at different stages of evaluation (P<0.001).
Multi-sensory stimulation leads to a decrease in heart rate and respiratory rate and the stability of blood pressure in preterm infants.
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