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The Relationship between Duration of Tube Feeding and Oral Feeding Success in Preterm Infants

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posted on 31.10.2017, 00:00 authored by Thao T Griffith
Background. Preterm infants often require extended tube feeding and are challenged to achieve oral feeding success (OFS, ability to consume 100% of the prescribed volume by mouth). The relationship between duration of tube feeding and OFS is not well documented. Purpose. To identify the potential relationships between duration of tube feeding and (1) OFS in preterm infants; (2) alert behavioral states, orally-directed behaviors, and nutritive sucking. Methods. A descriptive correlational study was conducted. Data were collected daily from the infants’ electronic medical records and at a one-time oral feeding evaluation within 48 hours after the removal of the feeding tube. Results. Data from 28 preterm infants were analyzed. A significant negative correlation between duration of tube feeding and OFS (β = −1.10, P = 0.000, Ꙍ² = 0.41) was identified. There was no correlation between duration of tube feeding and alert behavioral states, orally-directed behaviors, or nutritive sucking. Implications for Practice. OFS is one criterion for hospital discharge. While the duration of tube feeding is a non-modifiable factor, preterm infants who are anticipated to have longer duration of tube feeding may be at risk for delayed OFS. Thus, to facilitate OFS, clinicians should focus on modifiable factors, such as providing appropriate and timely assessment and interventions to introduce and advance oral feeding.



Bell, Aleeca F


Bell, Aleeca F


School of Nursing

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level


Committee Member

White-Traut, Rosemary Vincent, Catherine Rankin, Kristin Medoff-Cooper, Barbara

Submitted date

August 2017

Issue date


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