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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 243539, 10 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Optimally Timed Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Length of Hospital Stay in Moderate and Late Preterm Infants: Results from a RCT

1European Institute for Evidence Based Osteopathic Medicine (EBOM), Viale Unità d’Italia 1, 66100 Chieti, Italy
2Accademia Italiana Osteopatia Tradizionale (AIOT), Via Prati 29, 65124 Pescara, Italy
3Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Macerata Public Hospital, Via Santa Lucia 2, 62100 Macerata, Italy
4Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pescara Public Hospital, Via Fonte Romana, 65124 Pescara, Italy

Received 25 August 2014; Accepted 20 October 2014; Published 25 November 2014

Academic Editor: Raffaele Capasso

Copyright © 2014 Gianfranco Pizzolorusso et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Little research has been conducted looking at the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) on preterm infants. Aim of the Study. This study hypothesized that osteopathic care is effective in reducing length of hospital stay and that early OMT produces the most pronounced benefit, compared to moderately early and late OMT. A secondary outcome was to estimate hospital cost savings by the use of OMT. Methods. 110 newborns ranging from 32- to 37-week gestation were randomized to receive either OMT or usual pediatric care. Early, moderately early, and late OMT were defined as <4, <9, and <14 days from birth, respectively. Result. Hospital stay was shorter in infants receiving late OMT (−2.03; 95% CI −3.15, −0.91; ) than controls. Subgroup analysis of infants receiving early and moderately early OMT resulted in shorter LOS (early OMT: −4.16; −6.05, −2.27; ; moderately early OMT: −3.12; −4.36, −1.89; ). Costs analysis showed that OMT significantly produced a net saving of €740 (−1309.54, −170.33; ) per newborn per LOS. Conclusions. This study shows evidence that the sooner OMT is provided, the shorter their hospital stay is. There is also a positive association of OMT with overall reduction in cost of care.