Systematic review protocol examining the effect of prefeeding oromotor stimulation on preterm neonate’s feeding outcomes
Introduction: Feeding difficulty is a common problem among preterm babies as sucking-swallowing and breathing coordination matures by 32-34 weeks of postmenstrual age. There is a growing consensus among healthcare providers worldwide that oromotor stimulation influences feeding outcomes of preterm babies, but limited evidence influences its clinical applicability. Objectives: To critically appraise the available evidence on the effect of prefeeding oromotor stimulation (OMS) on preterm neonate’s feeding outcomes. Methods and analysis: This review will include only randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Electronic databases will be searched from January 2000 to December 2019. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines (PRISMA) will be followed for study selection. Modified Jadad Scale will be used for the methodological appraisal for RCTs. A narrative synthesis with or without a Meta-Analysis will be conducted considering the heterogeneity of available evidence. This review does not involve primary data thus ethical approval will not be required. Findings will be disseminated through conferences and publications in peer-reviewed journals. Conclusion: This review protocol will promote evidence-based decision making in the specific area and will help in improving nurse-led interventions in preterm feeding.