Application of the M technique in hospitalized very preterm infants: A feasibility study

Joan R. Smith, Mary Raney, Sandy Conner, Patricia Coffelt, Jacqueline McGrath, Marco Brotto, Terrie Inder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To explore the application of a novel relaxation method (the M Technique) in hospitalized very preterm infants in a level MIC neonatal intensive care unit. DESIGN: A feasibility, observational intervention study. SUBJECTS: Ten very preterm infants were enrolled to receive the treatment intervention. Eligible infants born less than 30 weeks' gestation received the intervention at 30 weeks' postmenstrual age. METHODS: Based on infant readiness, each infant received the M Techniquefor 5 minutes. Physiologic parameters (heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturations), behavioral variables (stress and relaxation cues), and infant behavioral state were measured 5 minutes before, during, and up to 10 minutes after the intervention, continuously. RESULTS: Descriptive analysis revealed that baseline physiologic, behavioral state, and behavioral cue parameters changed during and afterthe application of the M Technique. A decrease in heart rate and respiratory rate occurred during the M Technique (P =.006, P>.001 respectively) and a decrease in heart rate occurred at the end of the M Technique session (P =.02). In addition, an increase in SaO2 occurred during and at 5 minutes following the M Technique session (P =.04, P =.02, respectively). State scores decreased from baseline (mean = 5.1; range, 3-9) to afterthe intervention (mean = 2.0, range 1-4). As the intervention was delivered, more positive than negative behavioral cues were observed throughout, at the end, and after the M Technique session. CONCLUSION: In this feasibility study, the M Technique can be delivered without adverse effects to very preterm infants who are 30 weeks' postmenstrual age. Additional research is needed with a larger, randomized desian to determine short- and Iona-term effects specifically related to neuroloaic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S10-S17
JournalAdvances in Neonatal Care
Issue number5 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Infant behavior
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Therapeutic touch
  • Very preterm infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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