Cue-based oral feeding clinical pathway results in earlier attainment of full oral feeding in premature infants

J Perinatol. 2007 Sep;27(9):572-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.jp.7211791. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

Abstract

Objective: To study whether a cue-based clinical pathway for oral feeding initiation and advancement of premature infants would result in earlier achievement of full oral feeding.

Study design: Age of achievement of full oral intake was compared for two groups of preterm infants; a prospective study group vs historic cohort controls. Study infants had oral feedings managed by nurses using a clinical pathway that relied on infant behavioral readiness signs to initiate and advance oral feedings. Controls had oral feedings managed by physician orders.

Result: Fifty-one infants (n=28 study and n=23 control) were studied. Gender distribution, gestational age, birth weight and ventilator days were not different between groups. Study infants reached full oral feedings 6 days earlier than controls (36+/-1 3/7 weeks of postmenstrual age (PMA) vs 36 6/7+/-1 4/7 weeks of PMA, P=0.02).

Conclusion: The cue-based clinical pathway for oral feeding initiation and advancement of premature infants resulted in earlier achievement of full oral feeding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bottle Feeding*
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Critical Pathways
  • Enteral Nutrition / methods
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Time Factors