On July 20, 2021, the Rehabilitation Department at National Children’s Hospital, Vietnam had the webinar training “Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention – PIOMI”. Participants were Physicians, Physiotherapists, Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists in the Rehabilitation Department. The training was organized by Dr Brenda Lessen Knoll, an Associate Professor of Nursing at the School of Nursing, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois, USA.
Physicians, Physiotherapists, Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists in Rehabilitation Department at National Children’s Hospital are taking part in the Webinar PIOMI training (Photo: Minh Hanh).
In preterm infants of less than 32 weeks gestation, the neurological system is not fully mature, and they do not have enough ability to sustain full oral feeds. To help infants develop oral feeding skills, PIOMI has been shown to be a highly effective therapy. PIOMI was developed by Dr Brenda Lessen Knoll and first published in in 2011.
(Photo: Minh Hanh)
The PIOMI is a 5-min oral-motor protocol including 8 steps that are administered by a therapist. The PIOMI program was indicated for infants born with a gestational age as early as 29 weeks. In this protocol, facial and oral structures are stimulated at for a set time and frequency according to the manual, including rolling, curling and stretching of lips, c-stretch of cheeks, massage of lateral and middle borders of tongue, gums, palate and cheeks, and eliciting sucking and NNS. PIOMI is a safe, scientific and evidence-based therapy.
Dr Brenda Lessen Knoll and her colleagues in the USA and in hospitals throughout Italy, Thailand, Iran, India, China, Indonesia, Denmark and Egypt have conducted and published 24 RCTs. These studies showed that PIOMI is effective in developing premature infants feeding skills and reducing length of hospital stay and cost. PIOMI has also been shown to increase neurocognitive scores in children post discharge
In addition, parents can learn this therapy and do it at home for their babies..
In this webinar training, all participants were practicing under the guidance of Dr Brenda Lessen Knoll. At the end of the webinar training, all participants got PIOMI certificates.
Dr Trinh Quang Dung, the head of the Rehabilitation Department says “We hope that after this training we can implement PIOMI at our hospital. We will bring better outcomes for children who born prematurely.”
The Rehabilitation Department,
National Children’s Hospital, Vietnam.