Eye examination for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) examinations is a screening test which is among the painful procedures in neonatal care unit. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of multisensory stimuli and breast milk on intensity of pain in premature infants during eye examination.
Materials and Methods: This study is a randomized clinical trial. Ninety premature infants in Shahid Sadoughi hospital of Yazd, Iran, were randomly divided into 3 groups included: two intervention groups (1-multisensory stimulation (30 infants), 2-the recipient of the mother’s breast milk (30 infants), and control group (30 infants) who received the usual care of the ward. In this study, pain index score was recorded at 6 times based on Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP). Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 20.0.
Results: The mean pain score during the eye examination in the control group was significantly higher than two intervention groups (p>0.05). Both sensory stimulation and breast milk intervention groups reduced the pain score, but the sensory stimulation group reached the baseline score earlier than the breast milk group, so that in 1.5 minutes after the second eye examination, there was a significant difference between the pain scores of the two intervention groups (p <0.05).
According to the results of this study, multisensory stimulation and breast milk both can be used to reduce pain in preterm infants during ROP examinations. Although the effect of multisensory stimulation was slightly greater, breast milk could be a good alternative to a multisensory stimulation because it is a natural safe and effective analgesic at no cost.