Facilitated tucking: a nonpharmacologic comfort measure for pain in preterm neonates

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 1995 Feb;24(2):143-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.1995.tb02456.x.


Objective: To identify the effectiveness of "facilitated tucking," a nonpharmacologic nursing intervention, as a comfort measure in modulating preterm neonates' physiologic and behavioral responses to minor pain.

Design: Prospective, repeated measure, random sequencing, and experimental.

Setting: Level III neonatal intensive-care unit of a tertiary care university pediatric hospital.

Participants: Thirty preterm neonates, 25-35 weeks gestation.

Interventions: Heart rate, oxygen saturation, and sleep state were recorded 12 minutes before, during, and 15 minutes after two heelsticks, one with and one without facilitated tucking.

Hypothesis: Premature neonates will have less variation in heart rate and hemoglobin oxygen saturation, shorter crying and sleep disruption times, and less fluctuation in sleep states in response to the painful stimulus of a heelstick with facilitated tucking than without.

Results: Neonates demonstrated a lower mean heart rate 6-10 minutes post-stick (p < 0.04), shorter mean crying time (p < 0.001), shorter mean sleep disruption time (p < 0.001), and fewer sleep-state changes (p = 0.003) after heelstick with facilitated tucking than without.

Conclusion: Facilitated tucking is an effective comfort measure in attenuating premature neonates' psychologic and behavioral responses to minor pain.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Specimen Collection
  • Crying
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology
  • Infant, Premature / psychology*
  • Neonatal Nursing / methods*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Pain / nursing
  • Pain Management*
  • Posture*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Oxygen