Soothing Pain-elicited Distress in Chinese Neonates






OBJECTIVE: To test the effect of nonnutritive sucking (NNS), music therapy (MT), and combined NNS and MT (NNS + MT), versus no intervention, on heart rate, transcutaneous oxygen (TcPaO(2)) levels, and pain behavior of neonates in intensive care units having blood taken by a heel-stick procedure. METHODOLOGY: A within-subjects, counter-balancing, repeated-measures design conducted in a government-funded hospital in Hong Kong, comparing TcPaO(2) levels, heart rate, and pain behavior outcomes in 27 neonates. RESULTS: Repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance revealed statistically significant differences in outcomes across all interventions (Wilk's lambda =.142; F [3,27] = 31.82; eta2 =.47). One-way analysis of variance revealed that the 3 comfort interventions significantly reduced neonates' heart rate (Wilk's lambda =.647; F [2,27] = 18.93; eta2 =.35), improved their TcPaO(2) levels (Wilk's lambda =.481; F [2,27] = 37.42; eta2 =.51), and reduced their pain behavior (Wilk's lambda =.312; F [2,27] = 76.42; eta2 =.68). Posthoc scheffe tests revealed that NNS + MT had the strongest effect on neonates' TcPaO(2) levels and pain behavior; MT alone had the strongest effect on neonates' heart rate. CONCLUSIONS: Health professionals using NNS + MT when doing heel-sticks can improve the TcPaO(2) levels of neonates and reduce their pain. Using MT alone can improve the heart rate of neonates.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Critically Ill; Heart Rate; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Infants; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Neonatal Intensive Care; Neonatal Procedures; Newborn Infants; Oxygen Saturation; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Procedural Pain; Recorded Music Listening; Suffering; Vital Signs

Indexed Terms

Blood Specimen Collection; Heart Rate; Hong Kong; Newborn Infants; Intensive Care, Neonatal; Multivariate Analysis; Needles; Oximetry; Oxygen Consumption; Pain; Pain Measurement; Sucking Behavior

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


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