AuthorStrong, Carolyn Blythe.
AdvisorPhillips, Linda R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of the study was to identify and compare characteristics of preterm infants' pulse rate, respiratory rate, stress related behavior and self comforting behavior in two situations: (1) the infant receiving routine nursing care in the environment of a neonatal intensive care nursery, and (2) the infant in the same environment after experiencing a gentle back massage. Specifically, the research question for this study was: what patterns of pulse rate, respiratory rate and behavior, are associated with massage? Preterm infants between 33 and 36 weeks gestational age were observed for a baseline period of 50 minutes, given a 10 minute back massage, and observed for an additional 50 minutes. Exploratory data analysis revealed changes in the pulse rate, and in the frequencies of stress related and self comforting behaviors after massage that were associated with gestational age. Younger infants displayed a decline in pulse rate and an increase in respiratory rate after massage when compared to baseline observations, whereas older infants showed an increase in pulse rate immediately following massage. Stress related behavior declined during the first 10 minutes after massage in all age groups. Most preterm infants in this sample did not manifest any stress related behavior for several minutes after the massage. The frequency of self comforting behaviors increased after infants experienced a massage. Behavioral patterns were coupled with physiological variables; the frequency of self comforting behaviors was reflected in the pattern of respiratory rate whereas the frequency of stress related behaviors was more closely coupled with pulse rate. As infants became more aroused, they used a greater variety of behaviors. The behavioral reportoire also increased with gestational age. Content analysis demonstrated that infants spent more time in quiet sleep after having a massage than before massage. There were more frequent changes between active and quiet sleep before massage than afterward among infants who were treated concurrently with ultraviolet light. There was a trend for infants of all ages to take less time to console themselves after having a massage than before. None of these observed differences was statistically significant. Rotational movements were noted among more mature infants and were associated with quiet sleep. Infant behaviors showed a general decrease in the amplitude of movement over time. Several infants appeared alert, opening their eyes and looking around after having a massage. In general, preterm infants in this sample manifested changes in arousal and in activity which were observed in the differences in their behavior and vital signs after having a massage.