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Facilitated tucking as a non-pharmacological intervention for neonatal pain relief: is it clinically feasible?


Eva Cignacco, Ph.D, R.M., Institute of Nursing Science, Medical Faculty, University of Basel, Bernoullistr. 28, CH – 4056 Basel, Switzerland. Tel: +0041 61 267 09 12 | Fax: +0041 61 267 09 55 | Email:


There is an impressive body of knowledge on pain management in infants hospitalized in neonatal intensive care units. However, deficits in the clinical management of pain in these infants remain. One reason is the gap between research evidence and translation of this knowledge into the clinical setting. This is particularly true for non-pharmacological pain-relieving methods. Effective performance of some of these methods requires additional staffing and time. This viewpoint articles describes the clinical challenges associated with implementing ‘facilitated tucking’. Although ‘facilitated tucking’ is described as an efficient method for acute pain relief, the clinical facilitators required to successfully implement such a resource consuming-intervention remain unclear.

Conclusion:  Translational research on the feasibility of using ‘facilitated tucking’ in the management of neonatal pain is warranted, including the economic impact of this intervention. Increased manpower costs need to be weighed against the possible long-term economical consequences of pain exposure in infants.