A comparison of the nutritive sucking performance of full term and preterm neonates at hospital discharge: A prospective study

Gilson J. Capilouto, Tommy J. Cunningham, Peter J. Giannone, Deborah Grider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Studies show that 40% to 70% of premature infants exhibit both immature and atypical feeding ability. To establish thresholds of performance and develop efficacious treatments for initiating and advancing oral feedings, we must first identify the nutritive sucking performance measures impacted by preterm birth. Aims: To compare objective measures of neonatal nutritive sucking between full term and preterm infants at hospital discharge. Study design and methods: This was a prospective observational study including full term (FT; N = 32) and preterm (PT; N = 44) infants. Nutritive sucking performance at discharge was assessed. The outcome measures of interest were means and coefficients of variability of nutritive sucking peak amplitude, frequency, duration, and smoothness, and feeding-related length of stay. Results: There was a significant difference in sucking performance between groups; FT infants demonstrated significantly lower mean suck frequency, with longer suck duration and greater suck smoothness as compared to PT. PT infants had significantly less variability in suck amplitude and frequency as compared to FT, while FT infants had significantly less variability in suck smoothness as compared to PT. Post hoc regression analyses found suck frequency alone accounted for 28% of the variance in feeding length of stay for PT; suck smoothness alone accounted for 34% of the variance in feeding length of stay for FT. Conclusions: Suck frequency may be an important intervention target for PT infants having difficulty transitioning to oral feeding. Suck smoothness may be a sensitive marker for identifying infants at high risk for feeding challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalEarly Human Development
Volume134
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the families that participated in this study and the wonderful nurses who welcomed us into the NICU. This work was supported by a grant from the University of Kentucky NIH Center for Clinical and Translation Science ( NIH CTSA UL1TR000117 ) and a matching grant from the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Office Of Research (Grant 1012003440 ). The study sponsors had no involvement in the study design; data collection, analysis, and interpretation; the writing of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the families that participated in this study and the wonderful nurses who welcomed us into the NICU. This work was supported by a grant from the University of Kentucky NIH Center for Clinical and Translation Science (NIH CTSA UL1TR000117) and a matching grant from the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Office Of Research (Grant 1012003440). The study sponsors had no involvement in the study design; data collection, analysis, and interpretation; the writing of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019

Keywords

  • Dysphagia
  • Neonatal feeding
  • Neonatal sucking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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