A Prefeeding Oral Motor Therapy and its Effect on Feeding Efficiency in a Thai NICU

Graduation Year


Publication Date

Spring 2018


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Objective: To evaluate the effect of Premature Infant Oral Motor Therapy Intervention (PIOMI) on preterm infants’ feeding efficiency on day 1, 3, and 5 of oral feeding in Thai NICU.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
A 20-bed Special Neonatal Ward and 8-bed NICU at a large, public teaching hospital in urban Thailand.
Participants: Stable infants (n=30) born between 26 and 34 weeks post-menstrual age (PMA) without any comorbidities and admitted into the Thai NICU/Special Neonatal Unit Ward.
Methods: Once participants reached 32 to 34 weeks PMA, they were randomized into groups. The experimental group received the PIOMI once daily for 7 consecutive days, while the control group received routine care only. After oral feedings (with total volumes prescribed based on infant’s age and weight) were initiated, the mean volume (MV) oral intake of 2 consecutive oral feedings was calculated at day 1, 3, and 5 to assess feeding efficiency between the groups.
Results: The MV of oral intake (%) was significantly higher in the experimental group vs. the control group on all 3 days of measurement. The MV consumed on the first day of oral feeding was 44.9± 7.33% in the experimental group vs. 29.7% ± 9.55 % in the control group (p < .001), 53.9% ± 8.01% vs. 30.4% ± 11.07% on day 3 (p < .001), and 61.7% ± 7.44% vs. 34.8% ± 8.76% on day 5 (p < .001).
Conclusions: The Thai preterm infant population’s improved feeding efficiency is consistent with previously published studies on the PIOMI and support the PIOMI as a safe oral motor therapy for infants aged 32 to 34 weeks PMA to improve feeding efficiency.



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