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Preterm Infant Feeding and Cardiorespiratory Stability

Stevens, Emily Elaine (2007) Preterm Infant Feeding and Cardiorespiratory Stability. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of two different bottle feeding positions on a preterm infant's cardiorespiratory stability while feeding. Other factors associated with feeding success such as feeding duration, volume of consumption, gestational age, and day of life were also examined with respect to the feeding positions used. The long term objective for this line of investigation was to develop a neonatal intensive care unit feeding position protocol in order to decrease length of stay, improve oral feeding success, reduce health care costs, and prevent future feeding problems.Background: Of all live births in the United States, approximately 12% are to premature infants and of those born prematurely 90% will require admission to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Although technological advances have improved preterm infant survival rates, they have failed to decrease medical costs and length of hospital stay. This is due mostly to the preterm infant's failure to oral feed successfully. As a result, research efforts tend to focus on oral feeding skills, the transition period from nasogastric to oral feeding, oral feeding readiness, and oral feeding advancement. However, little attention has been given to bottle feeding positions used and the preterm infant's cardiorespiratory stability.Methods: The study used a randomized, two-period, cross-over design to test Upright (45 degree head up) and Cradle (15 degree head up) feeding positions on cardiorespiratory stability. Feeding positions were administered by a NICU nurse on 12 medically stable, bottle feeding infants who were < 35 weeks gestational age.Results: Subject demographics were similar between each order grouping. Findings indicated that neither the Cradle nor the Upright feeding positions had a statistically significant effect on the preterm infant's cardiorespiratory stability. No significant relationships were found between feeding positions, volume of consumption, gestational age, and day of life as well. However, results suggested that preterm infants experienced a somewhat slower heart rate (p = .005), higher oxygen saturation level (p = .02), and although non-significant, a slightly shorter feeding duration (p = .27) when held in an Upright position as compared to the Cradle position.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Stevens, Emily
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPatrick, Thelma E.patrickt@pitt.eduPATRICKT
Committee MemberOlshansky, Ellenolshane@pitt.eduOLSHANE
Committee MemberPickler, Rita
Committee MemberSereika, Susan M.ssereika@pitt.eduSSEREIKA
Date: 28 June 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 30 March 2007
Approval Date: 28 June 2007
Submission Date: 28 June 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Nursing > Nursing
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: cardiorespiratory stability; feeding positions; heart rate; oxygen saturation; preterm infant; respiratory rate
Other ID:, etd-06282007-094501
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:48
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:45


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