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Review

Effects of Infant Massage: A Systematic Review

1
Faculty of Health Sciences, Kristianstad University, SE-291 88 Kristianstad, Sweden
2
Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shivalingappa Halli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6378; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116378
Received: 9 April 2022 / Revised: 20 May 2022 / Accepted: 21 May 2022 / Published: 24 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal, New-Born and Child Health)
Infant massage is performed in various international contexts. There is a need for an updated literature review on this topic. The purpose of the current review was to investigate the effects of infant massage. A systematic literature review was conducted to investigate the effects of infant massage on the following outcomes: pain relief, jaundice, and weight gain. The inclusion criteria were infants from 0–12 months. The literature search was performed until January 2022, using the CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO databases, and included studies published from 2017–2021, returning 16 RCT/CCT studies with a total of 1416 participating infants. A review template was used by two independent reviewers to assess the risk of bias in the included studies. The results were synthesized and presented in the form of tables and narratives. In five of seven studies (n = 422 resp. n = 717) investigating pain relief, infant massage was found to alleviate pain. In all six studies (n = 455) investigating effects on infant massage and jaundice, beneficial effects were found on bilirubin levels. In all four studies (n = 244) investigating weight gain, increased weight gain was found among participants who received infant massage. The present literature review provides an indication of the current state of knowledge about infant massage and identifies its positive effects; however, the results must be interpreted with caution. Infant massage may be effective at relieving pain, improving jaundice, and increasing weight gain. Although statistically significant differences were not found between all experimental and control groups, no adverse effects of infant massage were observed. By placing the aforementioned effects in the context of child health care, infant massage may prove beneficial on these outcomes. Given the dearth of research on infant massage in the context of child health care, further research is warranted.
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Keywords: infant massage; child health care; review; intervention; infant infant massage; child health care; review; intervention; infant
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mrljak, R.; Arnsteg Danielsson, A.; Hedov, G.; Garmy, P. Effects of Infant Massage: A Systematic Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 6378. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116378

AMA Style

Mrljak R, Arnsteg Danielsson A, Hedov G, Garmy P. Effects of Infant Massage: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(11):6378. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116378

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mrljak, Rebecca, Ann Arnsteg Danielsson, Gerth Hedov, and Pernilla Garmy. 2022. "Effects of Infant Massage: A Systematic Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 11: 6378. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116378

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