The study aim was to explore the effects of multisensory breastmilk interventions on short-term pain of infants during newborn screening. This is a randomized controlled trial. A total of 120 newborns were recruited and assigned by randomization to one of three treatment conditions: Condition 1 = routine care (gentle touch + verbal comfort); Condition 2 = breastmilk odor + routine care; or Condition 3 = breastmilk odor + taste + routine care. Pain was scored with the Neonatal Infant Pain Scale (NIPS). Data were collected from video recordings at 1 min intervals over the 11 phases of heel sticks: phase 1, 5 min before heel stick without stimuli (baseline); phase 2 to phase 6 (during heel stick); and phase 7 to phase 11 (recovery). Generalized estimating equations compared differences in pain scores for newborns over phases among the three conditions. Compared with the routine care, provision of the odor and taste of breastmilk reduce NIPS scores during heel sticks (B = −4.36, SE = 0.45, p < 0.001 [phase6 ]), and during recovery (B = −3.29, SE = 0.42, p < 0.001 [phase7]). Our findings provide new data, which supports the use of multisensory interventions that include breastmilk odor and taste in combination with gentle touch and verbal comfort to relieve pain in infants undergoing newborn screening.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18(24), 13023