Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Infants in the NICU: A Systematic Review

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Murray R Berkowitz, DO, MA, MS, MPH

Second Advisor

Brian Matayoshi, PhD

Third Advisor

Regina Fleming, DO


Objectives: The aim of this systematic review is to examine all of the evidence of using osteopathic medicine as diagnosis and to critically evaluate the use and effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) as an adjunct treatment option for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted through February 2016 using three databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Embase). The search was performed for any type of clinical study using OMT on infants in the NICU. Case reports, cohort studies, randomized controlled trials and basic research were included. There were no date limitations for these searches. Results: Ten titles met the criteria for this review. Results suggest a potential positive effect of osteopathic manipulation on infants admitted to the NICU in terms of decreased LOS and cost benefits. Only one study showed negative effects. Conclusion: Clinically relevant effects of OMT were found in four out of the ten studies for reducing LOS, averaging approximately 8 days, and cost savings, averaging approximately $1,924.51, as well as improving functional status in infants admitted to the NICU. Only one study found visceral OMT to cause a longer LOS of 34 days.

This document is currently not available here.