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Child health
Combining facilitated tucking and non-nutritive sucking appears to promote greater regulation for preterm neonates following heel lance, but does not provide effective pain relief
  1. Marsha Campbell-Yeo
  1. Correspondence to Professor Marsha Campbell-Yeo, School of Nursing, Dalhousie University, Halifax B3H 3J5, Canada; marsha.campbell-yeo{at}

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Commentary on: Perroteau A, Nanquette MC, Rousseau A, et al. Efficacy of facilitated tucking combined with non-nutritive sucking on very preterm infants’ pain during the heel-stick procedure: a randomised controlled trial. Int J Nurs Stud 2018;86:29–35.

Implications for practice and research

  • Effectively reducing pain exposure and associated adverse consequences is essential to ensure optimal outcomes for vulnerable preterm neonates.

  • Combining facilitated tucking and non-nutritive sucking (NNS) appears to promote greater regulation for preterm neonates following heel lance. They should be considered as an adjunct therapy provided in combination with a known effective pain relieving intervention.

  • Future research should comply with recommendations regarding the ethical conduct of studies examining needle-related procedures in infants in which all infants, including those in the control arm, should receive some form of effective pain relief rather than exposed to untreated pain as part of a no treatment control or placebo arm.

Epidemiological findings demonstrate …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.