Introduction: Preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit receive different types of vestibular stimulations but there is no general consensus on the results. The purpose of this study was to systematically review published studies investigated the effects of some kinds of vestibular stimulations such as waterbed, air mattress, hammock, rocking and Vestibu Glide on neurobehavior, neuromotor, growth and vital signs in preterm infants.
Method: PubMed, SCOPUS, Web of Science, CINAHL and EMBASE databases were searched to identify studies published from 1980 and June 2022. In addition, reference lists of the articles were also checked.
Results: Twenty articles were met the inclusion criteria. Fifteen of these articles conducted on stable preterm infants and five articles performed on unstable ones. Waterbed, rocking, hammock, air mattress and Vestibu_Guide stimulations were applied in eight, four, six, one and one study, respectively. Twelve studies evaluated neurobehavioral development, five studies assessed neuromotor development, five studies evaluated the growth and fifteen studies assessed the vital signs in preterm infants using vestibular stimulations.
Conclusions: The results indicate that vestibular stimulations may improve neurodevelopment, growth and vital signs in premature infants, but there are still some disagreements among researchers. However, further research is recommended.