Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.
(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)
Effects of repeated heelsticks on premature newborns
Premature newborns were observed longitudinally while undergoing heelsticks. Behavioral and cardiac measures were taken over 5 tests days. On Tests 1, 3, and 5, the phlebotomist picked up the baby's leg and held it for 10 s and then proceeded to collect blood. This manipulation was geared towards observing whether, over days, babies learned that the pick-up of the leg was predictive of a painful event. Infants' reactions were also observed during the invasive parts of the blood collection. It was hypothesized that if infants increased their reactivity to the leg pickup over days, it would suggest that this neutral event had acquired signal value for the subsequent painful stimulus. If infants' response to the heelstick itself increased over days, this could be due to either maturation, sensitization and/or anticipation. However, if infants decreased their reactivity, it could be due to a specific learning mechanism, Stress-Induced-Analgesia.^ Results or the leg pick-up yielded a marginally significant cardiac increase on the final test day, suggesting anticipation. Infants demonstrated reliable behavioral and cardiac reactions to the heelstick but no change was observed in reactivity over days. Behavioral pain reactions were positively related with gestational age at Test 1, 2, 4 and 5. A greater number of heelsticks was related to fewer facial reactions at Test 5. Further research needs to be done to specify the nature of anticipation and to separate the effects of gestational age and number of invasive procedures on facial reactivity. ^
Goubet, Nathalie, "Effects of repeated heelsticks on premature newborns" (1998). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9909166.