Dr. Lessen has published her pilot study on the Premature Infant Oral Motor
Intervention (PIOMI), which she developed for use on premature infants who are only 29
weeks gestation (approx. 2 pounds). The intervention is a sequential series of 8 steps
that target the tongue, palate, cheeks, and lips to "train the brain" to key a
neuromuscular response to touch and pressure within their mouths, thus preparing them for
future bottle feeding. 

The infants who received Lessen's PIOMI learned to completely bottle feed 5 days
sooner than controls, and were thus discharged almost 3 days sooner. The PIOMI required
no equipment (other than a person's pinky finger) and only 5 minutes to administer.
The next clinical trial will include an expansion of the sample size, expanding to
multiple sites, and training the parents to implement the PIOMI on their own infants.
There are training materials (including video) on how to implement the PIOMI and do
reliability testing on the PIOMI available through Dr. Lessen. 

Articles

OpenURL

Effect of the Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention on Feeding Progression and Length of Stay in Preterm Infants, Advances in Neonatal Care (2011)

Purpose: Preterm infants frequently experience oral feeding difficulties due to underdeveloped oral motor skills and...

 

OpenURL

Feeding readiness in preterm infants: the relationship between preterm behavioral state and feeding readiness behaviors and efficiency during transition from gavage to oral feeding (with R. C. White-Traut, M. L. Berbaum, B. McFarlin, and L. Cardenas), MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing (2005)

The purpose of this secondary analysis was to assess whether alert behavioral states were associated...

 

Presentations

File

Effect of Oral Stimulation on Feeding Progression in Preterm Infants (2009)

This is a poster presentation of original research conducted to assess the safety and efficacy...

 

Research abstracts

Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention (PIOMI): Translating Interventional Research into Interdisciplinary Practice (2012)

Translating interventional research into practice requires a multifaceted approach. Rogers’ (2003) diffusion of innovations (DOL)...

 

Reliability of the Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention (PIOMI) (with Clare A. Morello) (2012)

Problem/Literature Review: Recent multidisciplinary research continues to examine various types of oral motor therapy in...

 

PDF

Effect of Oral Stimulation on Feeding Progression in Preterm Infants (2009)

Published in Advances in Neonatal Care 9(4): 187.

PURPOSE: To assess the safety and efficacy...