Preterm infants' responses to taste/smell and tactile stimulation during an apneic episode

J Pediatr Nurs. 1993 Aug;8(4):245-52.


A nonprobability sample of 14 nonventilated preterm infants, with a mean postconceptional age of 33.9 weeks, was examined to determine their responses to two interventions during apnea. The interventions included a traditional tactile stimulation of moderate shaking applied to the infant's leg and an experimental oral intervention consisting of taste, smell, and oral tactile stimulation. Infants served as their own control. Each infant received four randomly assigned trials (two of each intervention) when they experienced an apneic episode. The time interval for reinitiation of respiratory effort was significantly shorter after infants received the experimental stimulation (p = 0.0101). Behavioral state changed to alertness when the infants received the traditional tactile intervention yet remained unchanged when the experimental stimulation was administered during apnea (p = 0.0202).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Clinical Nursing Research
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Physical Stimulation*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / nursing*
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Touch