Early Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention Improved Oral Feeding and Prognosis by Promoting Neurodevelopment

Am J Perinatol. 2020 May;37(6):626-632. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1685448. Epub 2019 Apr 23.


Objective: This study aimed to explore the clinical significance of early premature infant oral motor intervention (PIOMI) in the prognosis of premature infants.

Study design: Infants were randomly divided into an intervention group (n = 78) and a control group (n = 73). PIOMI was given to the intervention group 15 to 30 minutes before feeding once a day for 14 days. The whole procedure lasted 15 minutes, including oral stimulation and nonnutritive sucking. Oral feeding ability and neuromotor development were evaluated using the Preterm Infant Oral Feeding Readiness Assessment (PIOFRA) scale and Infant Neurological International Battery (Infanib) scale.

Results: The PIOFRA score was higher in the intervention group and increased with time, showing a group-time interaction effect. The intervention group exhibited a higher feeding efficiency, a shorter transition time from assisted oral feeding to independent oral feeding, and lower body weight at achievement of independent oral feeding. The percentages of infants with a normal score on the Infanib scale were higher in the intervention group at 3 and 6 months of age, and an abnormal ratio was lower in the intervention group at 6 months (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: PIOMI promoted neuromotor coordination by improving neurodevelopment, thereby improving the oral feeding ability and prognosis of preterm infants.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Physical Stimulation*
  • Sucking Behavior / physiology*