Aim: Reviewing the scientific literature 2006-2011 on infant massage.
Background: The study is a follow-up of a literature review of studies on infant massage published 1995-2005, in which it was shown that infant massage has a favorable effect on weight gain, health, sleep and behavioral development in infants and on parental-infant interaction.
Methods: A computer-aided search utilizing the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Pubmed and CINAHL was conducted in January 2012, the MeSH term «infant massage», limited to clinical controlled trials (CCT) for infants aged 0-23 months, being employed.
Findings: A total of 29 articles were found, concerning 1670 children altogether who satisfied the inclusion criteria, 18 of the studies concerning preterm infants. Results in five different areas are taken up: weight gain (n=8), analgesia (n=5), health (n=5), behavioral development (n=7) and depression prevention in mothers (4).
Conclusions: No harmful effects of infant massage were reported. It was found to have positive effects on children's growth, health and behavioral development, and to have beneficial effects on the mothers' psychological well-being when they gave their children massage. It is concluded that parental education in infant massage is a cost-effective and health promoting measure.
2012. Vol. 32, no 4, 29-33 p.