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Randomised controlled trial of swaddling versus massage in the management of excessive crying in infants with cerebral injuries
  1. S Ohgi1,
  2. T Akiyama2,
  3. K Arisawa1,
  4. K Shigemori2
  1. 1Department of Preventive Medicine & Health Promotion, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Nagasaki, Japan
  2. 2Department of Rehabilitation, Nagasaki University Hospital, Nagasaki, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr S Ohgi
    Departments of Preventive Medicine & Health Promotion, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, 1-12-4 Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan;


Background: Infants with neonatal cerebral insults are susceptible to excessive crying as a result of difficulties with self-regulation.

Aims: To compare the effectiveness of swaddling versus massage therapy in the management of excessive crying of infants with cerebral insults.

Methods: Randomised three-week parallel comparison of the efficacy of two intervention methods. Infants with symptoms of troublesome crying and their parents were randomly assigned to a swaddling intervention group (n = 13) or a massage intervention group (n = 12).

Results: The amount of total daily crying decreased significantly in the swaddling group, but did not decrease significantly in the massage group. Infant behavioural profiles and maternal anxiety levels improved significantly in the swaddling group post-intervention. Parents in the swaddling group were more satisfied with the effectiveness of the intervention in reducing crying than parents in the massage group.

Conclusion: Results indicate that swaddling may be more effective than massage intervention in reducing crying in infants with cerebral injuries.

  • troublesome crying
  • management
  • swaddling
  • massage
  • NBAS, Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale
  • STAI, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory
  • HIE, hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy
  • PVL, periventricular leukomalacia
  • IVH, intraventricular haemorrhage
  • SE, standard error

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