Background: Despite the reduction of infant mortality in the world, complication of preterm birth is a major cause of infant mortality. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of abdominal massage and non-nutritive sucking on physiological parameters of preterm infants in neonatal intensive care units in Emam Reza Hospital in Kermanshah, Iran.
Materials and Methods: In this randomized controlled clinical trial, 42 infants who had the inclusion criteria, were selected and randomly assigned to three groups of abdominal massage and non-nutritive sucking and control (14 infant for each group). Abdominal massage in the first intervention group with the "I Love You: method and non-nutritive sucking in the second intervention through sucking a pacifier were performed twice in day for 15 minutes. The control group also received typical unit care. In order to analyze the data, the SPSS 22.0 software for analytical as well as descriptive statistical methods was used.
Results: The results of this study showed that the studied groups, at 9 AM and 9 PM of 5 consecutive days, had a significant difference with each other in terms of physiological parameters of the mean scores of respiratory rate, heart rate, and oxygen saturation level (p<0.05); as the mean of changes of Respiratory rate , Heart rate and Oxygen saturation level in the abdominal massage group had a significant statistical difference with each of the control and non-nutritive sucking groups (P<0.05); but there was no statistically significant difference between non-nutritive group and the control group (P>0.05).
Conclusion: Abdominal massage had positive effect on the physiological parameters of preterm infants, but non-nutritive sucking had no effect on these parameters, so abdominal massage may be effective on improvement of physiological indices in preterm infants.