Effects of osteopathic treatment versus static touch on heart rate and oxygen saturation in premature babies: A randomized controlled trial

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Manzotti A, Cerritelli F., Lombardi E, La Rocca S, Chiera M, Galli M, Lista G.

Journal: CTCP, Volume 39, May 2020, 101116

Background: Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) has been successfully tested in the context of preterm infants. No studies, however, have been conducted to investigate the OMT immediate effects on physiological measurements, such as partial oxygen saturation (SpO2) and heart rate (HR). The purpose of the present study was to assess the effect of osteopathic treatment on SpO2 and HR values and to compare it with 10 min of static touch.
Materials and methods: Ninety-six preterm infants (41 male), aged 33.5 weeks (±4.3) with mean weight at birth of 2067gr (±929) were recruited from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the Buzzi Hospital in Milan, and randomly allocated to two groups: OMT and Static Touch. Each protocol session consisted of: a) 5-min Pre-touch baseline recording, b) 10-min touch procedure, c) 5-min post-touch recording. Primary and secondary outcomes were, respectively, the baseline changes of HR and SpO2.
Results: The 2 x 2 repeated measure ANOVA for HR showed a statistically signi cant effect (F (1,94) 1⁄4 5.34; p < 0.02), revealing that the OMT group decreases the HR value at T2 (p 1⁄4 0.006). In contrast, SpO2 analysis showed an increase of SpO2 value where the OMT group demonstrated higher values at T2 (p 1⁄4 0.04).
Conclusion: Results from the present study suggest that a single osteopathic intervention may induce bene cial effects on preterm physiological parameters.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identi er: NCT03833635 – Date: February 7, 2019.

Autonomic nervous systemHeart rateOsteopathic manipulative treatmentOxygen saturationPretermTouch