Current Content
Volume 36 - Number 3
May/June 2010

The Effect of Music Reinforcement for Non-Nutritive Sucking on Nipple Feeding of Premature Infants
Jayne M. Standley, Jane Cassidy, Roy Grant, Andrea Cevasco, Catherine Szuch, Judy Nguyen, Darcy Walworth, Danielle Procelli, Jennifer Jarred, and Kristen Adams

In this randomized, controlled multi-site study, the pacifier-activated-lullaby system (PAL) was used with 68 premature infants. Dependent variables were a) total number of days prior to nipple feeding, b) days of nipple feeding, c) discharge weight, and d) overall weight gain. Independent variables included contingent music reinforcement for non-nutritive sucking for PAL intervention at 32 vs. 34 vs 36 weeks adjusted gestational age (AGA), with each age group subdivided into three trial conditions: control consisting of no PAL used vs. one 15-minute PAL trial vs. three 15-minute PAL trials. At 34 weeks, PAL trials significantly shortened gavage feeding length, and three trials were significantly better than one trial. At 32 weeks, PAL trials lengthened gavage feeding. Female infants learned to nipple feed significantly faster than male infants. It was noted that PAL babies went home sooner after beginning to nipple feed, a trend that was not statistically significant.