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Advances in Neonatal Care:
doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e318225a2c2
Foundations in Newborn Care

Procedural Pain Management for Neonates Using Nonpharmacological Strategies: Part 1: Sensorial Interventions

Fernandes, Ananda PhD, MSN, RN; Campbell-Yeo, Marsha PhD(c), NNP-BC, MN, RN; Johnston, C. Celeste DEd, RN

Section Editor(s): Ikuta, Linda

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Abstract

Neonates who are born preterm and are admitted to neonatal intensive care units endure frequent procedures that may be painful. Nonpharmacological interventions that have been studied to relieve their pain may be categorized in 2 main groups according to their nature: interventions that focus on creating a favorable environment and offering pleasant sensorial stimuli and interventions that are centered on maternal care. These interventions may be considered within the philosophy of developmental care, since they are aimed at adjusting the environment to the needs of the neonate and involve family-centered care. In this article, the first of a 2-part series, we will synthesize the evidence from experimental studies of interventions that focus on the environment and on tactile and gustatory stimulation. The mechanisms suggested by researchers as possible explanations for the efficacy of these interventions are pointed, and the implications for procedural pain management in neonatal care are drawn.

© 2011 National Association of Neonatal Nurses

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