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Table 1 Treatment groups

From: Study protocol: parents as pain management in Swedish neonatal care – SWEpap, a multi-center randomized controlled trial

Group Treatment Treatment description
Group 1 Standard care with glucose The infant is placed on the examination table for the blood test. Standard care comprises facilitated tucking done by a nurse or the parent, 1–2 ml of oral glucose (300 mg/ml) given in fractioned doses from 2 min before the procedure and the opportunity to suck on a pacifier or on a parent’s or a nurse’s plastic gloved finger.
Group 2a Parent-driven pain management with skin-to-skin contact The parent will sit in an adjustable recliner chair during the procedure and the infant will be placed naked (except for a diaper and possibly a hat) on the parent’s bare chest 10 min before the venipuncture. The skin-to-skin contact will proceed during and a while after the procedure.
Group 2b Parent-driven pain management with skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding The parent will sit in an adjustable recliner chair during the procedure and the infant will be placed naked (except for a diaper and possibly a hat) on the parent’s bare chest 10 min before the venipuncture. Breastfeeding starts about 2 min before the venipuncture and the blood test is performed when the infant is latched and sucking well.
Group 3 Parent-driven pain management with a combination of skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding and live parental lullaby singing The intervention in the combination group will follow the above described skin-to-skin and breastfeeding treatment descriptions. The parents are also instructed to hum a lullaby with their infant. The parent starts humming the lullaby when the infant is placed on the parent’s bare chest 10 min before the venipuncture and continues during and a while after the procedure. The humming should be performed in a simple, repetitive, soft and sedative mode in a low pitch, in consonant harmony, with a slow, steady and predictable pulse of 3/4 or 6/8 rhythm, maintaining a constant sound level between recommended ≤55–65 dB on the A-scale [49].