Purpose: To examine whether a structured neonatal physical therapy program (SNP) improves neurobehavior and general movements in moderate to late preterm (MLP) infants. Methods: Sixty MLP infants participated in this clinical trial. After baseline assessment using the Neurobehavioral Assessment of Preterm Infant (NAPI) and Prechtl General Movements (GMs) Assessment, infants were randomly allocated to a usual care (n = 30) or an SNP group (n = 30) and continued receiving usual care. The SNP group received intervention for 90 minutes/day, 6 days/week until discharge. Changes in neurobehavior and GMs were assessed at hospital discharge. Results: Changes in scores on scarf sign and motor development and vigor clusters of NAPI document an improvement in the SNP group. The proportion of infants with poor repertoire GMs also decreased more in the SNP group than in the usual care group. Conclusion: The SNP may be effective in improving some aspects of neurobehavior and quality of GMs in MLP infants. What this adds to the evidence: The addition of a structured neonatal physical therapy program to usual care can promote neurobehavioral organization and improve the quality of general movements in moderate and late preterm infants in India.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation