Multisensory intervention improves physical growth and illness rates in Korean orphaned newborn infants

Res Nurs Health. 2003 Dec;26(6):424-33. doi: 10.1002/nur.10105.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a multisensory intervention on the physical growth and health of Korean orphaned infants. Fifty-eight full-term infants were randomly assigned to a control (n = 28) or an experimental (n = 30) group within 14 days postbirth. In addition to receiving the routine orphanage care, infants in the experimental group received 15 min of auditory (female voice), tactile (massage), and visual (eye-to-eye contact) stimulation twice a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks. Compared to the control group, the experimental group had gained significantly more weight and had larger increases in length and head circumference after the 4-week intervention period and at 6 months of age. In addition, the experimental group had significantly fewer illnesses and clinic visits. These data demonstrate that multisensory intervention in conjunction with human/social contact may be effective in facilitating growth for newborn infants placed in orphanages.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Child Development*
  • Female
  • Foster Home Care* / psychology
  • Growth*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / methods*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Massage / methods
  • Orphanages
  • Physical Stimulation / methods