Pain reduction of heel stick in neonates: Yakson compared to non-nutritive sucking

J Trop Pediatr. 2008 Feb;54(1):31-5. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmm083. Epub 2007 Oct 25.


The purpose of this study was to test the effect of Yakson (i.e. a traditional Korean touching method) and non-nutritive sucking (NNS) on reducing the pain that neonates experience when undergoing the heel stick procedure for blood testing. Ninety-nine healthy neonates were recruited and assigned into three groups: Yakson (n = 33), NNS (n = 33), and control group (n = 33). Each intervention was provided to the Yakson and NNS groups from 1 min before heel stick until the completion of the heel stick. For the Yakson group, a researcher caressed the belly of a neonate with one hand while supporting the back with the other hand. For the NNS group, a pacifier packed with sterile gauze was put in the neonate's mouth. The oxygen saturation levels in the Yakson and NNS group neonates were maintained significantly better than in the control group neonates. There was no significant difference between the groups with regard to heart rate and neonatal infant pain, measured using the Neonatal Infant Pain Scale. Findings indicate that Yakson can be used during heel stick to help neonates maintain their oxygen saturation level following the procedure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Punctures / adverse effects
  • Sucking Behavior*
  • Therapeutic Touch / methods*