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  • Original Article
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Massage with kinesthetic stimulation improves weight gain in preterm infants



The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of massage with or without kinesthetic stimulation on weight gain and length of hospital stay in the preterm infant.

Study Design:

A prospective randomized clinical trial was conducted evaluating the effects of massage with or without kinesthetic stimulation (KS) on weight gain and length of stay (LOS) in medically stable premature (<1500 g and/or 32 weeks gestational age) neonates. Infants were randomized either to receive no intervention (control), massage therapy alone (massage), or massage therapy with KS (M/KS). Linear regression analysis was performed to evaluate differences in the primary outcomes between the groups after controlling for covariates. Post hoc analysis with stratification by birthweight (BW> and <1000 g) was also performed.


A total of 60 premature infants were recruited for this study; 20 infants in each group. Average daily weight gain and LOS were similar between the groups after controlling for covariates. For infants with BW>1000 g, average daily weight gain was increased in the intervention groups compared to control. This effect was mainly attributable to the M/KS group.


Massage with KS is a relatively simple and inexpensive intervention that can improve weight gain in selected preterm infants. Length of hospital stay is not impacted by massage with or without KS. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effect of massage in the extremely low BW(<1000 g) infant.

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We thank Adenike Oloade, Inderjeet Sandhu and Mary Rivas for their assistance with patient enrollment and compiling and maintaining the dataset.

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Correspondence to A N Massaro.

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Massaro, A., Hammad, T., Jazzo, B. et al. Massage with kinesthetic stimulation improves weight gain in preterm infants. J Perinatol 29, 352–357 (2009).

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