Project description - The Norwegian Physical Therapy study for Preterm Infants (NOPPI)

This study examines the practice and effects of individually customized physical therapy on preterm infants before they reach term age. It considers the parents experience of active involvement in the treatment, the value of the parents’ active participation in treatment in short and long term and the effect of early specific intervention on improving the motor development of preterm infants. The infants are followed for two years.

The study consists of two sub-studies.

Sub-study one: This is a pragmatic randomized controlled study. 150 infants born <32 weeks gestational age are randomly assigned either to intervention or control group. The intervention involves education of parents in handling and motor stimulation of their child. Intervention is carried out up to ten minutes twice a day over a period of three weeks (week 34, 35, 36). Standardised tests are carried out at different ages (term, three, six, twelve and 24 months). Statistical calculations for evaluation of the infants’ motor development will be carried out up to the infants corrected age of 24 months.

The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT01089296

Sub-study two: Observation and video recording of clinical consultations is used to gather data for description and analysis of the treatment given for promoting parental competence. Eight triads (infant, parent and physical therapist) are observed and videotaped in four clinical encounters each. In addition qualitative interviews of these parents are the basis for the analysis of parental experiences with early intervention and give information on how parental participation has influenced the parent-child relationship. Eight parents of children in the control group will also be interviewed. The interviews will occur when the infant is term age, three, six, twelve and 24 months corrected age.

Funding:

  • Tromsø: The Norwegian Fund for Post-Graduate Training in Physiotherapy funds Øberg’s postdoctoral fellow position
  • Trondheim: St. Olavs Hospital
  • Trondheim: UNIMED Innovation Research Fund

PretermphysiotherapyNICU.jpg (Bredde: 560px)

St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim                        Gay and Gunn Kristin outside NICU, University                                                                                                                        Hospital of Northern Norway, Tromsø