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Clinical Trial Summary

The purpose of this randomised control trial is to determine the efficacy of CT-optimal touch (gentle stroking at 3cm/s) for newborn's who require a heel prick.

Clinical Trial Description

Newborn infants are subject to several novel experiences that cause physiological, biochemical and behavioural indicators of stress; even routine and common events such as handling, changing a diaper or being bathed can increase salivary cortisol levels. Excluding surgery and mechanical ventilation, the most common procedural pain sources in newborns are heel-lancing and venepuncture. Tactile interventions such as skin to skin care and 'still containment hold' are widely used in clinical care with apparent positive results such as lower mean respiratory heart rate and pain measures, and higher oxygen saturation; yet, dynamic touch interventions have reported to be more beneficial than static touch interventions. A distinct type of nerve fibres, CT (C tactile) afferents, found exclusively in hairy skin, that respond optimally to gentle stroking at a velocity of ~1-10cm/s, are part of a system for processing pleasant and social rewarding touch. CT fibre activation also plays a role in pain inhibition and may be linked to the development of self-regulation, thereby, serving a neuroprotective function for the developing infant brain. Here we will investigate whether tactile stimulation at CT-optimal velocity will reduce biochemical and physiological indicators of stress in infants, as determined by salivary cortisol, heart rate and blood oxygenation levels. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT05039918
Study type Interventional
Source Liverpool John Moores University
Contact Francis McGlone, Professor
Phone 0151 904 6332
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date September 2021
Completion date March 2022

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