The Efficacy Of Massage Therapy On Preterm Infants

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The Efficacy of Massage Therapy on Preterm Infants Taryn L. Metz Winona State University The Efficacy of Massage Therapy on Premature Infants According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013) 500,000 infants are affected by preterm births each year. A preterm infant is born prior to 37 weeks’ of their gestational age (Smith, 2012) and can be classified as very premature (less than 32 weeks’ gestation), premature (born between 32 and 34 weeks’ gestation) or late premature (born between 34 and 37 weeks’ gestation) (Durham & Chapman, 2010). Despite the widespread advances in hospital policies and extensive research, the preterm birthrate continues to rise (Witt et al., 2014). Between 1990 and 2010 the number…show more content…
My dream is to not only promote healing for such vulnerable patients, but also inspire hope in the families of these premature infants. I am continuously striving to become the best nurse and patient advocate that I can be, by implementing more than just conventional treatment within each of my patient’s plan of care. My interest in the use of alternative therapies led me to develop the following question: In hospitalized preterm infants, does the use of massage therapy promote overall adaptation and development? Massage therapy is defined as, “a systematic touch by human hands, which stimulates the tactile sense of the infant and which has been documented for several decades to have a positive effect on both full term and preterm infants” (Abdallah et al., 2013, p. 663). The goal of this paper is to describe the transition from intrauterine to extrauterine life and identify normal adaptation for the newborn and how these adaptations can affect a preterm infants development, identify different nonpharmacological interventions, including massage therapy and determine whether these techniques are effective in promoting adaptation and development of the preterm infant and if so, how do these therapies impact the preterm infant’s overall development. Throughout the human experience, one of the most complex adaptations is the transition from intrauterine to

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