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Intellectual disability nursing
Infant massage applied by parents of infants with Down syndrome (DS) increases their levels of acceptance, commitment and awareness of influence
  1. Maria do Céu Barbieri-Figueiredo1,
  2. Marcia Van Riper2
  1. 1 Nursing Department, Universidad de Huelva, Huelva, Spain
  2. 2 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Maria do Céu Barbieri-Figueiredo, Nursing Department, Universidad de Huelva, Huelva, Andalucía, Spain; ceubarbieri{at}

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Commentary on: Pinero-Pinto E, Romero-Galisteo RP, Jiménez-Rejano JJ, et al. A pilot randomised controlled trial on the effectiveness of infant massage on the acceptance, commitment and awareness of influence in parents of babies with Down syndrome. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2023 Jan;67(1):35–48. doi: 10.1111/jir.12983. Epub 2022 Oct 17.

Implications for practice and research

  • Parents of infants with Down syndrome (DS) are likely to benefit from giving body massages to their infants.

  • Findings from this pilot randomised control trial (RCT) need to be replicated in larger studies using the same massage protocol and evaluation tools.


DS, the most common chromosomal condition associated with intellectual disability, occurs approximately 1 in 1100 live births worldwide. Children with DS often have distinctive phenotypic features and co-occurring conditions that affect health and development.1 When parents learn their child has DS, they often experience uncertainty, increased stress and …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.