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.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Res Nurs Health 26:424-433, 2003