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Mother-performed infant massage effectively promotes the remission of infantile eczema, reduces the chance of relapse, and alleviates the mother’s anxiety and depression.

These findings are reported in a 5-month intervention study published in Frontiers in Public Health.

It was found that infantile eczema severely affected the infants’ quality of life (QOL) and the mothers’ mental health. The mothers’ melancholy and anxious moods also improved along with the improvement in their mental health.

MPIM Reduce Infantile Eczema

Infantile eczema improved over time when moms followed the care guidelines for infantile eczema. Moreover, MPIM further improved eczema remission and lowered its recurrence. The Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) was used to assess the severity of infantile eczema. After the 2-month intervention in both groups, the eczema massage (EM) group had significantly lower EASI and Infants’ Dermatitis Quality of Life Index (IDQOL) scores than the eczema control (EC) group  (t = 3.953 and 3.797, respectively; both P < 0.001).

After the 5-month intervention, there were significantly more cases of complete remission and fewer incidences of relapse in the EM group than the EC group. In addition, MPIM did not adversely affect the development of infants with eczema.

Infantile Eczema Severely Affects Infants’ Quality of Life

Infantile eczema severely affects infant QOL. At the beginning and end of the 2-month intervention, the mothers assessed the QOL of infants with eczema using the IDQOL. Both groups had significantly decreased IDQOL scores during the 2-month intervention. In addition, the EM group reported substantially lower IDQOL scores than the EC group. A positive correlation was found between EASI and IDQOL.

MPIM Improves The Mental Health Of The Mothers

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Infantile eczema affects mothers’ mental health. The mental health of mothers was assessed using Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) scores. Compared to the health control (HC) group, the mothers of infants in the EC group and EM group had significantly higher SDS scores and non-significantly higher SAS ratings. After the 2-month intervention, the EC and EM groups had considerably lower SAS and SDS scores. Moreover, the EM group’s SAS and SDS scores were considerably lower than the EC group’s.

After a 2-month intervention, maternal sleep improved significantly in the EC and EM groups. Moreover, MPIM enhanced the mothers’ sleep quality.

It was concluded that MPIM has the potential to effectively promote the remission of infantile eczema and lower the risk of its relapse, in addition to alleviating maternal anxiety and melancholy.

Source:

Lin, L., Yu, L., Zhang, S., Liu, J., & Xiong, Y. (2022). The positive effect of mother-performed infant massage on infantile eczema and maternal mental state: A randomized controlled trial. Front Public Health, 10, 1068043. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.1068043