239131 Infant massage classes in a Healthy Start Program: A pilot study of mothers' satisfaction and knowledge

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jennifer Pitonyak, MS, OTR/L, SCFES, CIMI , Department of Occupational Therapy, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Infant massage has established health benefits for both the caregiver and infant, such as improved infant self-regulation and increased caregiver awareness of infant arousal state and social response cues. These benefits help caregivers and infants to bond and develop healthy, lasting relationships. Women receiving services through Healthy Start may lack access to this innovative parent-child interactive experience in their community, so the Healthy Start program is one means of offering them education about the benefits of infant massage. This presentation will share results from a pilot study investigating mothers' satisfaction and changes in knowledge about infant development after participation in an infant massage program offered through Healthy Start. A convenience sample of mothers who were enrolled in Healthy Start and had an infant younger than 12 months of age at the time of the study completed a pre-questionnaire assessing their previous experience with infant massage and knowledge of infant development. The mothers then participated in 5 infant massage classes taught by an occupational therapist and certified infant massage instructor, following an established protocol for infant massage. Qualitative and quantitative responses on a post-questionnaire indicated mothers' satisfaction with this new program. The results of this pilot study are helpful for informing further development of this infant massage program and other new, innovative programs in Healthy Start. The process and outcome of this collaboration between an academic occupational therapy program and Maternal Child Family Health department also demonstrates the benefits of non-traditional partnerships for community health and wellness.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe the health benefits of infant massage for the mother and the infant Assess mothers' satisfaction and changes in knowledge from participation in an infant massage program Define the necessary steps and resources needed to develop an infant massage program

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Healthy Start

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on the pilot study described in this abstract, "The Occupation of Mothering: Mother-Infant Social Engagement using Infant Massage" which has IRB approval through University of the Sciences and the City of Philadelphia. I have an accepted presentation, "Developing Community Partnerships for Family Wellness" about the program development aspect of this pilot study at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference in April 2011. As faculty and a clinician in occupational therapy, I have over 13 years of experience working with families and infants in early intervention and neonatal intensive care unit settings. I am a certified infant massage instructor. I am also in the dissertation phase of my PhD in Health Policy, completing an analysis of the relationships between risk of post-partum depression, child care arrangements, employment characteristics and the outcome of breastfeeding duration in a sample of mothers working outside the home after pregnancy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.