Applied mechanical vibration in pediatric and adult populations has been shown to be an effective analgesic for acute and chronic pain, including needle pain. However, studies among the neonatal population are lacking. According to the Gate Control Theory, it is expected that applied mechanical vibration will have a summative effect with standard nonpharmacologic pain control strategies, reducing behavioral and physiologic pain responses to heel lancing. The purpose of the study was to determine the safety and efficacy of mechanical vibration for relief of heel lance pain among neonates. This pilot study suggests that mechanical vibration warrants further exploration as a nonpharmacologic pain management tool among the neonatal population.
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