Effect of tactile–kinesthetic stimulation on growth, neurobehavior and development among preterm neonates

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Background: Preterm neonates are at risk of delayed growth and development. Hence, early tactile–kinesthetic stimulation (TKS) is required to improve their growth and development. Objective: To evaluate the effect of TKS on growth, neurobehavior and development among preterm neonates. Method: An interventional study was conducted from August 2015 to July 2017 in the neonatal unit of Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital. Preterm neonates were recruited via random sampling and divided into two groups (the intervention group and control group). TKS was performed for 15 min, three times a day, for 10 days. The anthropometric measurements, neurobehavior (Dubowitz score) and development (Capute Scale score) of neonates in both groups were assessed. Results: There were 126 preterm neonates (n = 63 in each group). During the 10-day TKS period, the intervention group had a significant increment in weight and length compared to the control group (p < 0.05) at 11–14 days, at term and 3 months. Moreover, increased tone, reflexes, and improvement in behavior based on the Dubowitz score were observed during monitoring. However, the result did not differ significantly (p > 0.05). There was no significant difference in terms of cognitive and language development in both groups (Developmental Quotient of Clinical Linguistic Adaptive Milestone Scale, Developmental Quotient of Clinical Adaptive Test and Full Scale Developmental Quotient scores, p > 0.05). Conclusion: TKS was significantly effective in promoting growth, particularly weight and length, among preterm neonates. However, it did not significantly influence neurobehavior and development at 3 months of chronological age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-186
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Growth
  • Infant behavior
  • Infant development
  • Preterm infants
  • Tactile perception


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