Comparing Blood Cortisol Level in Infants with and without Pain in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Preliminary Study
Journal of Critical Care Nursing : March 30, 2011,
4 (2); e7092
April 30, 2011
Article Type: Research Article
August 28, 2016
February 15, 2011
F , Ebadi
A , Tadrisi
S D , Mollahadi
M . Comparing Blood Cortisol Level in Infants with and without Pain in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Preliminary Study,
Crit Care Nurs J.
Introduction: Neonatal pain and stress response are manifested in three behavioral, physiological and chemical forms.
Chemical changes in the pain include secretion and release of hormones and substances such as cortisol, insulin,
endorphins and catecholamines. The present study aimed to compare the cortisol level in term infants with and without
Methods: In a pilot study in 2010, 30 infants who were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit in Baqiyatallah
hospital, divided into two 15-participant groups, with and without pain groups. Thereafter, the blood cortisol level was
measured during the painful procedure of blood sampling. Pain or lack of pain was determined through Neonatal Infant
Pain Scale (NIPS). Analyzing the data was used by Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman coefficient correlation and
Results: Results indicated that cortisol level in both groups had no significant statistical difference (p>0.05); but, there
was a significant and direct association between NIPS scores and cortisol level in all participants (p<0.05; r= 0.337).
Conclusion: According to the obtained results, it seems that blood cortisol is not a reliable scale to evaluate the pain.
However, it should be noted that, measuring the cortisol level and identifying its association and changes with pain, the
time of blood sampling, attention to secretion rhythm of this hormone in 24 hours and infants’ age and their physica
conditions should be highly considered.
Cortisol, Pain, Infants, Stress.
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