Multisensory stimulation bundles on sleep and neurobehavioral development in the first year after birth in very preterm infants: a randomized crossover controlled study protocol.
Disrupted sleep is believed to contribute to short- and long-term neurodevelopmental problems in very preterm infants (VPIs). This study presents a protocol for an evaluator-blinded, randomized crossover trial. It aims to assess the sleep efficiency of hospitalized VPIs by providing multisensory stimulation bundles. Furthermore, it aims to observe the intervention impacts on sleep during hospitalization of the VPIs and their sleep and neurodevelopmental outcomes during the first year of post-discharge follow-up. The study will be conducted in the neonatology department of a tertiary pediatric teaching hospital. All the eligible VPIs will undergo two types of care in random order: "standard care" (2 weeks) and "standard care plus multisensory stimulation bundles," each lasting 2 weeks. A generated list of random numbers will be used for case sequence allocation. Sleep outcomes will be evaluated using the Actiwatch-2 Actigraph. Moreover, the amplitude-integrated electroencephalography and the Griffiths Mental Development Scales will be used to measure the neurodevelopmental outcomes during hospitalization and in the first year of follow-up of the VPIs. The intervention protocol of this study differs from that of other traditional interventions by producing precise and consistent supportive stimulations, similar to maternal tactile, auditory, posture, and visual effects for hospitalized VPIs. This protocol could be an effective measure to facilitate sleep and early neurodevelopment of VPIs. The expected outcomes will help confirm the implementation and generalization of the multisensory stimulation bundles' care protocol in neonatology departments. We expect that the study will positively impact hospitalized VPIs, especially in their sleep and early neurodevelopmental outcomes. It will also provide a new perspective regarding parent and infant interaction strategies, particularly for newborn intensive care units that limit visits because of the global spread of COVID-19. Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR 2200059099. Registered on 25 April 2022, https: //www.chictr.org.cn/showproj.html?proj=166980 ; the Hospital Research Ethics Committee (approval number: SCMCIRB-K2021086-1, Version 01), approved on 21 January 2022.