PREMATURE INFANT

ORAL MOTOR INTERVENTION

What is PIOMI?

Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention (PIOMI) is a 5-minute oral motor intervention using a pinky finger in the and around the mouth of preterm infants as young as 29 weeks PMA. PIOMI aims to mimic the in-utero oral experience that strengthens and develops feeding mechanisms. The 8 steps provide assisted movement to activate muscle contraction and provide movement against resistance to build strength in areas needed for subsequent bottle and breastfeeding. The intervention increases functional response to pressure and improves control of movements for the lips, cheeks, jaw, and tongue.

Evidence demonstrates that preterm infants who are offered PIOMI will have:

  • Earlier readiness to feed

  • Reduced transition time to full oral feedings

  • Decreased length of hospital stay 

  • Increased mean Neonatal Oro-Motor Assessment Scale score

  • Improved Early Feeding Skills (EFS) Assessment

  • Improved Preterm Oral Feeding Readiness Assessment Scale (PTOFRAS)

  • Improved LATCH score

  • Increased direct breastfeeding rates at 1 month and 3 months after discharge from the NICU

  • Improved scores on neurological battery at 3 and 6 month follow up

Excerpt from Training Video 

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RESEARCH & EVIDENCE

 

The PIOMI has been the focus of multiple randomized controlled trials in the USA and internationally. PIOMI evidence has been included in multiple systematic reviews (Cochrane) and meta-analyses. Evidence is consistently strong for earlier readiness to feed, faster transition to full feeds, and shorter length of stays.

See list of all PIOMI Studies and Presentations here:

ON-SITE TRAINING

 

Join leading hospitals and NICU teams who have completed on-site training to implement PIOMI as their oral motor standard of care.  

Dr. Knoll trains RNs, MDs, NNPs, OT, PT,  SLPs, and Parents to implement PIOMI in your NICU.

 

TRAINING PACKAGES

Since the initial publication of the PIOMI in 2011, staff in more than 75

NICUs in over 20 countries have been formally trained to implement PIOMI in their NICU or Clinic.

To bring the PIOMI to your NICU, contact Dr. Brenda Lessen Knoll.

"I am an Italian speech therapist and a pediatric nurse. I read about PIOMI and contacted Dr. Brenda Lessen. I had the pleasure to meet her in Chicago where I received personalized training and certification to use PIOMI and also to be a trainer. I was then able to use this tool within my NICU at Giannina Gaslini Hospital in Genoa, with excellent results both from a clinical and research point of view.

 

Thanks to my certification as a trainer, we organized the first course on preterm infant oral feeding with PIOMI training in Bologna, Italy in January 2020 with excellent results and great interest. I sincerely thank Brenda for her amazing work and training me on PIOMI, for her kindness and professionalism, and for the work we are doing together! I look forward to continuing our work together!"

Marta Majoli, SLP

Logopedista,

Speech and Language Pathologist

Giannina Gaslini Hospital Genoa, Italy

On-Site TRAINING

CONTACT

Brenda Lessen Knoll, PhD, RN 

ILLINOIS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

1312 Park St. • Bloomington, IL 61701

blessen@iwu.edu  Tel: 309-212-0544

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