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Summary of Systematic Review

Evidence-Based Systematic Review: Effects of Oral Motor Interventions on Feeding and Swallowing in Preterm Infants
Arvedson, J., Clark, H., et al. (2010).
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 19(4), 321-40.

This review meets the criteria for a high-quality evidence-based systematic review.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review states a clearly focused question or aim Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes
Characteristics of the included studies are provided Yes

This is a review of experimental, quasi-experimental, or multiple-baseline single-subject design research investigating the effects of oral motor interventions (OMI) on outcomes of feeding and swallowing for preterm infants.

Question(s)/Aim(s) Addressed:

  1. What is the effect of OMI on feeding and swallowing physiology (e.g., sucking pressures, feeding efficiency, rate of liquid transfer, aspiration, or total length of feeding time) in preterm infants?

  2. What is the effect of OMI on functional oral feeding and swallowing outcomes (e.g., volume intake, days to oral feeding, weight gain, or growth) in preterm infants?

  3. What is the effect of OMI on pulmonary health (i.e., aspiration pneumonia) in preterm infants?

Preterm infants.

Oral motor interventions.

Number of Studies Included:

Years Included:
1960 to 2007


Pediatric Dysphagia

  • Treatment

    • Oral Motor Interventions

      • “Non-nutritive sucking (NNS) has been the most extensively studied [oral-motor intervention], with strong positive findings for improvement in oral feeding and swallowing physiology variables and for reducing the time to transition to total oral feeding by some investigators” (p. 337).

      • “Pre-feeding stimulation has been explored in fewer studies, with equivocal results across the outcomes targeted in this review” (p. 337).

      • “Although less thoroughly investigated than NNS in isolation, the combined effect of NNS plus oral stimulation produced a similar pattern of findings to NNS alone” (p. 337).

      • “None of the OMIs provided consistent positive results on weight gain and growth in this population” (p. 337).

Sponsoring Body:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Oral Motor, Swallowing Disorders

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