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Vol. 22. Issue 4.
Pages 304-309 (01 July 2018)
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Vol. 22. Issue 4.
Pages 304-309 (01 July 2018)
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.03.002
Effects of hammock positioning in behavioral status, vital signs, and pain in preterms: a case series study
Valdecira Rodrigues de Jesusa, Pricila Mara Novais de Oliveirab, Vivian Mara Gonçalves de Oliveira Azevedoc,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: Faculdade de Educação Física e Fisioterapia – FAEFI, Rua Benjamin Constant, 1286, Bairro Aparecida, CEP: 38400-678, Uberlândia, MG, Brazil.
a Faculdade de Ciências Médicas de Minas Gerais, Hospital Sofia Feldman, Programa de Residência em Neonatologia, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
b Hospital Universitátio da Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (HU-UFJF/EBSERH), Pediatria, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil
c Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU), Faculdade de Educação Física e Fisioterapia (FAEFI), Uberlândia, MG, Brazil

  • Hammock positioning can be considered a safe method for very low birth weight positioning.

  • Hammock positioning may induce sleep thus reducing the stress level in preterms.

  • Hammock positioning keeps the vital signs stable.

  • Hammock positioning does not cause pain.

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Figures (2)
Tables (2)
Table 1. Characteristics of preterm newborns studied.
Table 2. Neonatal behavioral assessment of preterms before, during, and after hammock positioning.
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The hammock positioning within the incubators simulates the intrauterine environment, however, there is little evidence of its benefits and possible risks.


The aim of this study was to assess the effects of hammock positioning on behavioral status, vital signs, and pain in very low birth weight preterm newborns.


This is a quasi-experimental/case series study in which premature infants (<1500g) were positioned in supine for one hour in a hammock. The preterm newborns were assessed 10min before, during (2, 20, 40, and 60min), and 10min after hammock positioning with the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, vital signs and pain by the Neonatal Facial Coding System.


28 preterm infants between 28 and 36 weeks of gestational age were evaluated. Regarding the behavioral state, the preterm newborns progressively evolved to light or deep sleep during hammock positioning. There was a statistically significant reduction of the heart and respiratory rate from 2 to 60th minute in a hammock, which was maintained after the positioning. The oxygen saturation remained within normal values. No changes in pain scores were observed.


The hammock positioning can be considered a safe method of positioning that can be used to reduce the stress levels in very low birth weight preterm newborns. We did not observe worsening in either pain or vital signs.

Neonatal Intensive Care Units


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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

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