Neonatal aquatic physiotherapy in neonatal intensive care units: A scoping review

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Therapeutic benefits of neonates undergoing neonatal aquatic physiotherapy (NAPT) are evident from the available literature. However complied report on NAPT is not yet available. Hence, we have mapped the available interventions to treat neonates admitted in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) using NAPT in a scoping review. METHOD: Six databases which includes, MEDLINE/PubMed, SCOPUS, PEDro, CINHAL, EBSCO and Cochrane were searched with predefined keywords specific to or related to NAPT interventions from 1983 to August, 2020 for the full-text English language articles. RESULTS: A total of 6163 relevant articles were identified from the search process. After duplicates were removed, 6146 articles were screened for inclusion, leaving 809 articles assessed for eligibility criteria. Six (n = 6) articles met all criteria and were included in the final qualitative synthesis. CONCLUSION: NAPT may be an effective intervention to normalize the muscle tone, to promote active movements, postural organization, improves sleep pattern and quality, promotes the thermal and cardiorespiratory adaptations, and moreover reduces neonatal pain among the neonates admitted in NICUs.

*Corresponding Author: 

Dr. Vencita Priyanka Aranha, MPT (Pediatrics), (PhD), PhD Research Scholar, Department of Pediatric and Neonatal Physiotherapy, Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Maharishi Markandeshwar (Deemed to be University), Mullana-133207, Haryana, India. Tel.: +91 8607274555; E-mail: