Effects of Tactile Stimulation on Physical Growth and Hypoxemia in Preterm Infants

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Physical Therapy


The risk and benefit effects of tactile stimulation on hypoxemia and physical growth were evaluated on preterm infants born at 30 to 32 weeks of gestation. During 10 days, tactile stimulation was administered twice daily, for a period of 15 minutes, to the trunk and extremities. Physical growth measurements included weight, height and head circumference. Constant control of oxygen saturation and heart rate before, during and after each intervention, was used to identify hypoxemia. Tactile stimulation, as given, had no statistically significant effect on physical growth but did not provoke hypoxemia. Further studies are needed to determine the specific components of this modality which might give positive results on the physical growth of preterm infants.