The Lowering of Bilirubin Levels in Full-Term Newborns by the Effect of Combined Massage Therapy and Phototherapy Practice

Am J Perinatol. 2019 Apr 18. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1685493. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Various therapeutic treatments have been prescribed for decreasing the bilirubin level. Massage therapy is one of the neonate treatments for jaundice. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of combined massage therapy and phototherapy on neonatal jaundice.

Study design: This study was performed at Shahid Madani Hospital in the city of Khorramabad in 2016, where 83 healthy full-term infants were enrolled. They were selected through convenience sampling and then were randomly assigned to the intervention and control groups. The control group (n = 43) received phototherapy, whereas infants in the intervention group (n = 40) received 4 days of massage and phototherapy. The serum bilirubin level, frequency of stooling and amount of urination, duration of hospitalization, and feeding frequency were analyzed using SPSS by descriptive and analytical statistics (mixed regression models).

Results: Baseline levels of bilirubin were similar between the two groups (p > 0.05). The bilirubin level was measured as 13.4 ± 0.7 mg/dL in the intervention group on day 1. It stood at 14.4 ± 1.5 mg/dL in the control group, which was not statistically significantly different. However, the mean bilirubin level was decreased on day 4 of hospitalization to 7.4 ± 0.56 mg/dL and 9.0 ± 2.3 mg/dL, showing a significant difference decrease in the intervention and control group (p < 0.05), respectively.

Conclusion: Intervention had a significant role in decreasing the bilirubin level, amount of urination, and duration of hospitalization of full-term infants suffering from hyperbilirubinemia.