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Comment on ‘Direct swallowing training and oral sensorimotor stimulation in preterm infants: a randomised controlled trial’ by Heo et al
  1. Celia M Harding1,
  2. Siew-Lian Crossley2
  1. 1 Department of Language and Communication Science, City, University of London, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Monash Children's Hospital, Clayton, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Celia M Harding, Language and Communication Science, City, University of London, London EC1V 0HB, UK; c.harding{at}

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We were interested to read Heo et al’s1 well-designed study where infants were allocated randomly to control, swallowing therapy (ST) or sensorimotor oral stimulation+swallow therapy (SOMST) groups. While outcomes are impressive in reducing neonatal stay, we do have some concerns. It was interesting to note that the ST group did not progress as well as the SOMST group. This is surprising given that in Lau and Smith’s2 study, infants receiving ST progressed to independent oral feeding aged 36.6±0.5 post menstrual age (PMA) in comparison with infants in Heo and colleagues SOMST group who were independent oral feeders at 37.0±0.5. Incidentally, Lau and Smith2 initiated their intervention when …

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  • Contributors CMH and S–LC contributed equally to the letter.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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