Sucrose for analgesia in newborn infants undergoing painful procedures.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000CD
Management of pain for neonates is less than optimal. The administration of sucrose with and without non-nutritive sucking (pacifiers) has been the most frequently studied non-pharmacological intervention for relief of procedural pain in neonates.
To determine the efficacy, effect of dose, and safety of sucrose for relieving procedural pain as assessed by physiologic and/or behavioural indicators.
Standard methods as per the Neonatal Collaborative Review Group. A MEDLINE search was carried out for relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published from January 1966 - November 1, 1997; EMBASE from 1993-1997; Reference Update search on November 11, 1997 and search of the Cochrane Library Issue 4 on November 11, 1997. Key words and (MeSH) terms included, infant/newborn, pain, analgesia and sucrose. Personal files, bibliographies, the most recent relevant neonatal and pain journals and conference proceedings were searched manually. Unpublished studies were not included. Language restrictions were not imposed.
RCTs in which term and/or preterm neonates undergoing heel lance, venepuncture or intramuscular injection (immunization) received sucrose or water/placebo or no intervention.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Trial quality was assessed according to the methods of the Neonatal Collaborative Review Group. Quality measures included; blinding of randomization, blinding of intervention, completeness of follow up and blinding of outcome measurement. Data were abstracted and independently checked for accuracy by the two investigators. The inconsistency in outcome measures and differences in the statistical reporting of results made meta-analysis impossible. We were not able to identify two studies in which the same physiologic and/or behavioral outcomes following a noxious stimulus (heel-lance, venepuncture, intramuscular injection) were measured and reported in an identical fashion using means and standard deviations (or standard errors). The results are therefore reported for each accepted study separately.
Fifteen studies were identified for possible inclusion in this systematic review. Five studies were excluded; three RCTs were excluded as in these trials the number of infants randomized to treatment vs. placebo groups were not reported; one study was not an RCT, and in one RCT the neonates did not undergo a painful procedure. Ten RCTs were included in this review. Sucrose in a wide range of dosages was generally found to decrease univariate physiologic (heart rate) and behavioural (the mean percent time crying, total cry duration, duration of first cry, and facial action) pain indicators and multivariate [Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP)] pain outcomes in neonates undergoing heelstick or venepuncture. An optimal dose of sucrose to reduce pain associated with procedures in preterm and term neonates could not be identified through this systematic review.
Sucrose reduces physiologic and/or behavioral indicators of stress/pain in neonates following procedural pain stimuli (heel lance, venepuncture, immunization). There was inconsistency in the dose of sucrose that was effective and an optimal dose to be used in preterm and/or term infants could not be identified. Considerations for future research are to describe the painful procedure and intervention in detail, to use appropriate sample size to show a statistically significant reduction in pain, to use a multidimensional conceptualization of pain, to select outcome measures that are reliable and valid pain indicators and to account for the variation in the infant's response and context in which the pain is experienced. The use of repeated administrations of sucrose in neonates needs to be investigated. Use of sucrose in neonates that are very low birth weight, unstable and/or ventilated also needs to be addressed. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)