A comparison of objective and subjective measurements of non-nutritive sucking in preterm infants

Luh Karunia Wahyuni, Irawan Mangunatmadja, Risma Kerina Kaban, Elvie Zulka Kautzia Rachmawati, Melinda Harini, Budiati Laksmitasari, Agatha Geraldyne, Inez Ayuwibowo Sangwidjojo, Dini Prima Utami, Victor Prasetyo Poernomo, Adrian Prasetya Sudjono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background Of preterm infants born before 32 weeks of gestation, 40-70% have atypical and immature feeding skills, which could delay initiation of oral feeding. A formal objective measurement of non-nutritive sucking may increase the accuracy of determining the right time to initiate oral feeding, however, most hospital peri-natology care units do not own a suction pressure measurement device to objectively measure non-nutritive sucking parameters. Objective To compare objective and subjective non-nutritive sucking (NNS) based on sucking pressure, number of suctions per burst, and time between bursts. Methods One hundred twenty preterm infants born at 28-34 weeks’ gestation were evaluated for objective and subjective NNS. Data were collected from August to November 2021 at five hospitals in Jakarta. Objective NNS was measured by a suction pressure measurement device, while subjective NNS was clinically examined. Number of suctions per burst, sucking pressure, and time between bursts were analysed by Spearman’s correlation test. Results A positive and significant correlation between objective and subjective NNS was found in all parameters (P<0.001). The highest correlation was found in time between bursts (r=0.74; P<0.001), followed by number of suctions per burst (r=0.60; P<0.001), and sucking pressure (r=0.58; P<0.001). Conclusion The correlation between objective and subjective NNS examination was moderate in preterm infants. Therefore, an objective NNS measurement is still required for optimizing the examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-283
Number of pages8
JournalPaediatrica Indonesiana(Paediatrica Indonesiana)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • non-nutritive sucking
  • preterm infants


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of objective and subjective measurements of non-nutritive sucking in preterm infants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this