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Qualitative synthesis
Skin-to-skin care is an effective and safe intervention to reduce procedural pain in neonates
  1. Xiaomei Cong
  1. School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Xiaomei Cong, School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, 231 Glenbrook Road, Unit 4026, Storrs, CT 06269-4026, USA; xiaomei.cong{at}

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Commentary on: Johnston C, Campbell-Yeo M, Fernandes A, et al. Skin-to-skin care for procedural pain in neonates. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2014:CD008435.

Implications for practice and research

  • Skin-to-skin contact/care (SSC) is an effective and safe intervention for reducing procedural pain as measured by physiological and behavioural indicators and can be used in routine neonatal practice.

  • Further studies are needed to examine similar and clearly defined pain outcomes, taking into account SSC duration, age and comparison with other interventions.


Unrelieved pain caused by invasive procedures in early life is associated with detrimental outcomes in all major organ systems and has lasting implications for impairment of biobehavioural and neurodevelopment outcomes in neonatal period and later life.1 2 However, 40%–90% of infants still do not receive effective pain-relieving interventions.3 4 Non-pharmacological interventions, especially those incorporating …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.