Effect of Postural Supports on Neuromotor Function in very Preterm Infants to Term Equivalent Age
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine
Objective - To determine the effect of a postural support nappy and/or a postural support roll on neuromotor function in very preterm infants when nursed prone to term equivalent age. Methods - A randomized observer blind controlled trial of 123 very preterm infants was conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit of the sole tertiary referral centre in Western Australia. Infants were stratified by gestational age (< 29 weeks or 29−30 weeks), then randomized into one of three intervention groups: postural support nappy, postural support nappy and postural support roll, or disposable nappy and postural support roll. Interventions started when infants were stable and ceased when routine side-lying commenced. Measurements of shoulder and hip posture were performed pre-intervention, 5 weeks post-intervention and term postmenstrual age. Results - Infants nursed with a postural support roll and a postural support nappy demonstrated improved hip posture to term equivalent age compared with infants nursed with either a postural support roll only, or a postural support nappy only. Infants nursed with a postural support roll either with or without a postural support nappy demonstrated improved shoulder posture to term equivalent age. Conclusions - Combined use of a postural support roll and a postural support nappy while very preterm infants are nursed prone improves hip posture up to term postmenstrual age. Use of a postural support roll improves shoulder posture up to term equivalent age.