The effect of gentle human touch on pain, comfort and physiological parameters in preterm infants during heel lancing


Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol.48, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2022.101622
  • Journal Name: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Comfort, Gentle human touch, Pain, Physiologic parameters, Preterm infant, PROCEDURAL PAIN, CARE, MANAGEMENT
  • Kayseri University Affiliated: No


© 2022 Elsevier LtdObjective: This research was conducted to evaluate the effects of gentle human touch (GHT) on pain, comfort, and physiologic parameters in preterm infants during heel lancing. Method: This prospective, assessor-blind, randomized controlled study was performed between August 10, 2021 and September 10, 2021 in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) of a tertiary hospital in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. Fifty preterm infants were randomly appointed to GHT and control groups. The researcher applied GHT to the infants in the GHT group by placing one hand on the infant's head and the other hand on the lower abdomen covering the waist and hips for 15 min. Data were collected with a Questionnaire, Physiological Parameters Observation Form, Newborn Infant Pain Scale (NIPS), The Comfort Scale (COMFORT), and Pulse Oximeter. Results: The NIPS and COMFORT mean scores of preterm infants in the GHT group were lower during (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, respectively) and after heel lancing (p < 0.05, p < 0.001, respectively). There was no difference between the preterm infants' peak heart rate, respiratory rate, and SPO2 values in the GHT and control groups during and after heel lancing (p > 0.05). The study found that preterm infants in the GHT group had less crying time during the heel lancing (p < 0.001). Conclusion: It could recommend using in painful procedures because GHT may positively affect preterm infants' pain, comfort, and physiologic parameters. The results of this study will contribute to NICU nurses should include non-pharmacological methods such as GHT to decrease pain of preterm infants in procedural pain. Trial registration: (NCT05001191).