The Norwegian Physical Therapy study for Preterm Infants - NOPPI

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This study examines the practice and effects of individually customized physical therapy on preterm infants before they reach term age. It investigates the parents' active involvement in treatment and the effect of our early intervention on improving the motor development of preterm infants. 

This is a pragmatic randomized controlled study with 150 infants born ≤ 32 weeks gestational age (GA). The intervention includes education of parents in handling and facilitating functional movement activities and how to adapt the intervention to the infant's behavior and cues. Intervention is carried out up twice a day over a period of three weeks. Evaluation of the infants’ motor development are measured with standardized tests at 0, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months corrected age (CA).
We conducted qualitative interviews with the parents of eight infants in the intervention group to explore the parental experiences with the early intervention. Eight parents from the control group were also interviewed to compare their experiences based on usual care.
International collaboration partners are Professor Emerita Suzann K. Campbell and Clinical Professor Gay L. Girolami at University of Illinois at Chicago. National collaboration partners are St. Olavs Hospital and NTNU in Trondheim, Rikshopitalet avd Ullevål in Oslo, Universitetssykehuset Nord-Norge i Tromsø. 


Gunn Kristin Øberg (Principal investigator)
Marit Sørvoll
Cathrine Labori

Financial/grant information:

The study is registered at, identifier: NCT01089296

Main funding source (Tromsø): The Norwegian Fund for Post-Graduate Training in Physiotherapy. 
Trondheim: UNIMED Innovation Research Fund, The Norwegian Extra-Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation, The National Parent Organization for Prematurity. 

Project period: 2010-2022