A study was conducted at a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at a large Midwestern teaching medical center to determine the reliability of the Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention (PIOMI). The PIOMI is a five minute, oral motor intervention using a gloved finger in the mouths of premature infants of at least 29 weeks post-menstrual age (PMA) developed by Dr. Brenda S. Lessen to improve feeding skills in preterm infants. The PIOMI was first introduced in a pilot study done by Dr. Lessen and the results demonstrated a decrease in the amount of time needed for premature infants to reach full bottle feedings and be discharged (Lessen, 2008). Three registered nurses (RNs) were recruited as subjects for this study and trained to perform the PIOMI on preterm infants. A training video and a reference sheet were developed and distributed during a two hour training session. A reliability rating tool was developed for this study based on a four-point Likert scale according to three criteria: order, technique, and time. Two observers rated three RNs performing the PIOMI twice on premature infants. The reliability among the observers (interobserver), the reliability among different RNs (interuser), and the reliability of the same RN performing the PIOMI twice (test-retest) were calculated. The PIOMI demonstrates high interobserver reliability (97.57%), interuser reliability (97.59%), and test-retest reliability (97.58%).
Goebel, Clare A., "Reliability Measurement of the Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention" (2010). Honors Projects. Paper 39.