Aim and objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of massage, sucrose solution, herbal tea or hydrolysed formula, each used individually in the treatment of infantile colic.
Background: The term colic describes a group of symptoms that occur frequently in infants, consisting of paroxysmal abdominal pain and severe crying. Infant colic is of importance for both parents and the community health services that provide families with care, and is therefore an important clinical problem that is amenable to nursing interventions.
Design: This prospective and randomised-controlled study involved 175 infants in Turkey.
Methods: Data were gathered by using Wessel criteria; parents wrote a daily structured diary, recording the onset and duration of crying. Patients were assigned randomly into four different intervention groups (massage, sucrose solution, herbal tea and hydrolysed formula) and control group. Duration of crying following each intervention was recorded in the diary by parents for a one week period.
Results: There was a significant reduction in crying hours per day in all intervention groups. The difference between mean duration of total crying (hours/day) before and after the intervention infants in hydrolysed formula group was found higher than massage, sucrose and herbal tea group. The difference between mean duration of total crying(hours/day) before and after the intervention infants in massage group was found lower than other intervention groups and all groups.
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that varied interventions such as administration of massage, sucrose solution, herbal tea and hydrolysed formula are effective in the treatment of colic. The difference between mean duration of total crying (hours/day) before and after the intervention in hydrolysed formula group was found higher than other intervention groups. Hydrolysed formula was the most effective in reducing the duration of crying (hours/day) when compared with the other intervention groups. Massage intervention yielded the least symptomatic improvement among all the interventions.
Relevance to clinical practice: Colic treatment models used in this study can be used by nurses in neonatal and primary healthcare settings as an aid to families for the treatment of infantile colic.