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Research Article  |   June 1994
The Effect of Oral Support on Sucking Efficiency in Preterm Infants
Author Affiliations
  • Lynn M. Einarsson-Backes, MS, OTR/L, is an Occupational Therapist, Orange County California Children’s Services, R. H. Dana Medical Therapy Unit, 24242 LaCresta, Dana Point, California 92629. When this research was conducted, she was a student in the Master of Science Program (Occupational Therapy Pathway, Early Intervention Tract), Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Jean Deitz, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • Robert Price, MS, is a Research Scientist and Mechanical Engineer, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • Robin Glass, MS, OTR/L, is an Occupational Therapist, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, Washington
  • Ross Hays, MD, is Associate Director of Rehabilitation Medicine, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, Washington
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Special Issue on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Research Article   |   June 1994
The Effect of Oral Support on Sucking Efficiency in Preterm Infants
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1994, Vol. 48, 490-498. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.6.490
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1994, Vol. 48, 490-498. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.6.490
Abstract

Objective. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of oral support on feeding efficiency in preterm infants who were identified by the medical team as poor feeders.

Method. Thirteen premature infants between 34 and 40 weeks’ postconceptional age were selected from a group of infants at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. They were fed twice within a 26-hr period, once with oral support and once without. The order of occurrence of these two conditions was randomly selected without replacement to assure that an equal number of both conditions occurred during the first feed. Only the first 2 min of the feed were used in data analysis.

Results. A statistically significant difference (z = − 2.62, p < .01, two-tailed) in volume intake occurred between the oral support condition (M = 10.9 cc) and the no oral support condition (M = 4.8 cc).

Conclusion. This study validates the use of oral support as an effective treatment technique to enhance sucking efficiency in preterm infants.