Developmental intervention for preterm infants diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia

Res Nurs Health. 1999 Apr;22(2):131-43. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-240x(199904)22:2<131::aid-nur5>;2-e.


Preterm infants with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) were evaluated to determine whether multi-sensory stimulation is safe and to assess whether it improved neurobehavior and neurodevelopment. Thirty preterm infants with documented PVL were randomly assigned to control (n= 15) or experimental (Group E) (n= 15) groups at 33 weeks post-conceptional age. Group E infants received 15 minutes of auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular (ATVV) intervention twice a day, five days a week, for four weeks during hospitalization. Repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated that Group E infants experienced significant increases in heart and respiratory rate and a 0.72% drop in hemoglobin saturation, coinciding with a significant behavioral state shift from sleep to alertness during intervention. No differences were identified in neurobehavioral function and neurodevelopment, indicating that Group E suffered no injury. Group E had an average hospital stay nine days shorter than that of controls, with the associated cost savings of $213,840. The earlier hospital discharge indicates that ATVV intervention promotes alertness without compromising physiologic status in vulnerable infants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Birth Weight
  • Chicago
  • Child Development*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods*
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / economics
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / nursing*
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Physical Stimulation*