Objective: To evaluate whether a nest affects posture and spontaneous movements of healthy preterm infants.
Method:Ten healthy preterm infants were serially video recorded in supine position, inside and outside the nest, at three periods: 30-33 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA), 34-36 weeks, 37-40 weeks. The nest was a shell-shaped containment, made by rolling two blankets in a form of a circle. Posture was assessed both before and after general movements (GMs), scoring the predominant postural pattern. Movements towards and across the midline, elegant wrist movements, abrupt hand and/or limb movements and rolling to side and frozen postures of arms and legs were assessed during four GMs. All data relating to motor and postural items were normalised into frequencies of events per minute because GMs were variable in duration.
Results:Inside the nest, infants displayed more often a flexed posture with shoulder adduction and elbow, hip and knee flexion, and the head frequently in the midline. The nest was also associated with an increase in elegant wrist movements and movements towards and across the midline and a reduction in abrupt movements and frozen postures of the limbs. The nest did not affect the occurrence of asymmetric tonic neck (ATN) posture.
Conclusions:The nest promotes a flexed posture of the limbs with an adduction of shoulders, facilitates elegant wrist movements and movements towards and across the midline and reduces abrupt movements and frozen postures of arms and legs.
- general movements
- preterm infant
- spontaneous movement
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