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A randomised controlled trial to investigate the effects of parental touch on relieving acute procedural pain in neonates.

Touch is important for parent and child bonding, and research in adults has shown that stroking the skin at the right speed can reduce pain experienced during some procedures. Stroking and parental touch activates special fibres in the skin that we think can make procedures feel less painful. Some studies have shown that close skin-to-skin contact between babies and their parents can reduce pain during procedures (such as blood tests).

The aim of this research is to understand if parental touch can reduce how much pain their babies experience during a blood test. We also want to know how parents feel when they stroke their baby’s leg during a blood test. We would like to see if there are any differences in how a baby responds if a parent strokes their child’s leg before or after a blood test.

You can find more information here and our published protocol in BMJ Open.

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