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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, MD, FRCOG, Joachim W.

Ed. by Bancalari, Eduardo / Chappelle, Joseph / Chervenak, Frank A. / D'Addario , Vincenzo / Genc, Mehmet R. / Greenough, Anne / Grunebaum, Amos / Konje, Justin C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Romero, Roberto / Zalud, MD PhD, Ivica

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.361
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.578

CiteScore 2018: 1.29

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.522
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.602

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Volume 33, Issue 5


Variability in pain expression characteristics in former preterm infants

Karel Allegaert / Hugo Devlieger / Dominiek Bulckaert / Gunnar Naulaers / Paul Casaer / Dick Tibboel
Published Online: 2005-09-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JPM.2005.078


Objectives: To document pain expression characteristics in former preterm infants in the first year of life in whom systematic evaluation and treatment of pain was provided.

Methods: Data on the Modified Behavioral Pain Scale (MBPS), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS, crying time and heart rate were collected during immunization. The effect of clinical characteristics {postconception and gestational age [PCA], surgery, ventilation, fentanyl, length of stay (LOS)} on bio-behavioral parameters was evaluated.

Results: 121 procedures were recorded in 49 infants. GA was 28 (25–32) weeks. PCA was 60 (34–90) weeks. Median MBPS was 8 (2–10), median crying time 44 (0–112) s. Median pre-procedural heart rate was 144 (103–201) and increased to 184 (147–220) afterwards, resulting in a relative increase of 29 (5–99)%. Median VAS score was 7 (1–10). Significant correlations of PCA with pre-procedural heart rate (r=−0.36) and with relative increase in heart rate (r=0.33) were identified. A correlation of LOS on crying time (r=0.37) was observed.

Conclusions: Correlations of PCA with pre-procedural and relative increase in heart rate reflect the maturational decrease in heart rate. LOS had an effect on pain expression, potentially reflecting the impact of cumulative ‘minor’ procedural pain.

Keywords: Preterm infant; pain expression; pre-emptive analgesia; procedural pain

About the article

Corresponding author: Karel Allegaert, M.D. University Hospital, Gasthuisberg Department of Pediatrics, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Herestraat 49 3000 Leuven/Belgium Tel.: +32-16-343850 Fax: +32-16-343209

Received: January 31, 2005

Revised: April 12, 2005

Accepted: June 10, 2005

Published Online: 2005-09-13

Published in Print: 2005-10-01

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine, Volume 33, Issue 5, Pages 442–448, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JPM.2005.078.

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