Quantification of intraoral pressures during nutritive sucking: Methods with normal infants

William Christopher Lang, Neil R.M. Buist, Annmarie Geary, Scott Buckley, Elizabeth Adams, Albyn C. Jones, Stephen Gorsek, Susan C. Winter, Hanh Tran, Brian R. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We report quantitative measurements of ten parameters of nutritive sucking behavior in 91 normal fullterm infants obtained using a novel device (an Orometer) and a data collection/analytical system (Suck Editor). The sucking parameters assessed include the number of sucks, mean pressure amplitude of sucks, mean frequency of sucks per second, mean suck interval in seconds, sucking amplitude variability, suck interval variability, number of suck bursts, mean number of sucks per suck burst, mean suck burst duration, and mean interburst gap duration. For analyses, test sessions were divided into 4 × 2-min segments. In single-study tests, 36 of 60 possible comparisons of ten parameters over six pairs of 2-min time intervals showed a p value of 0.05 or less. In 15 paired tests in the same infants at different ages, 33 of 50 possible comparisons of ten parameters over five time intervals showed p values of 0.05 or less. Quantification of nutritive sucking is feasible, showing statistically valid results for ten parameters that change during a feed and with age. These findings suggest that further research, based on our approach, may show clinical value in feeding assessment,diagnosis, and clinical management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Infant feeding
  • Nutritive sucking
  • Oral-motor function
  • Orometer
  • Suck Editor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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