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Review: non-nutritive sucking decreases length of hospital stay in premature infants

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Question Does non-nutritive sucking improve clinical outcomes in premature infants?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline and CINAHL (back to 1976) and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register using the terms infant, premature; intensive care units, neonatal; enteral nutrition; sucking behavior; infant nutrition; gastric emptying; growth; parenteral nutrition; bottle feeding; infant care; infant, low birth weight; somatostatin; crying; oxygen; child development; physical stimulation; taste; infant, newborn; and feeding behavior and the text words “non,” “nutritive,” and “suck.” Bibliographies of articles were reviewed and 2 experts were contacted to identify other published or unpublished studies.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were experimental …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr Janet Pinelli, School of Nursing, McMaster University, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3Z5, Canada. Fax +1 905 570 0667.