Respiratory treatment history predicts suck pattern stability in preterm infants

M Poore, S M Barlow, J Wang, M Estep, Jae Hoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sensory deprivation and motor restriction associated with extensive oxygen therapy may lead to poor oromotor control in preterm infants. Non-nutritive suck is one of the first complex oromotor behaviors infants perform. This study determined the spatiotemporal variability of non-nutritive suck (NNS) pressure trajectories in three preterm groups with differing oxygen histories—one control group with minimal or no O2 therapy, and two Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) groups with either a mild/moderate (RDS1) or moderate/severe (RDS2) O2 history. The Non-nutritive Suck Spatiotemporal Index (NNS STI) quantifies spatial and temporal variability across kinematic trajectories, and was calculated from digital representations of infants’ suck pressure signals. An ANCOVA revealed a significant effect for group (p < .001) on the NNS STI measure, with RDS2 infants showing highly variable NNS patterning, and thus relatively underdeveloped suck. Extensive oxygen therapy, which alters the oral sen
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-192
JournalJournal of Neonatal Nursing
StatePublished - 2008


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