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Newborn infants' cry after heel-prick: analysis with sound spectrogram

Runefors, Per LU ; Arnbjörnsson, Einar LU ; Elander, G and Michelsson, K (2000) In Acta Pædiatrica 89(1). p.68-72
Abstract
The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that a newborn infant's cry can be used in conjunction with an instrument to measure pain. Crying due to pain was analysed after a heel-prick stimulus. In a prospective, descriptive study, 50 healthy newborn infants were subjected to a heel-prick for phenylketonuria screening. Their cries of pain were recorded and analysed. Duration of the crying sound was analysed and, using a sound spectrogram, the fundamental frequency and the cry melody of the first five cry sounds were analysed. The analysis showed that the crying sound after the painful stimulus of the heel-prick had a significantly higher fundamental frequency and lasted longer at the first than at the fifth cry. The first cry had a... (More)
The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that a newborn infant's cry can be used in conjunction with an instrument to measure pain. Crying due to pain was analysed after a heel-prick stimulus. In a prospective, descriptive study, 50 healthy newborn infants were subjected to a heel-prick for phenylketonuria screening. Their cries of pain were recorded and analysed. Duration of the crying sound was analysed and, using a sound spectrogram, the fundamental frequency and the cry melody of the first five cry sounds were analysed. The analysis showed that the crying sound after the painful stimulus of the heel-prick had a significantly higher fundamental frequency and lasted longer at the first than at the fifth cry. The first cry had a more varied crying melody than the fifth. There were large differences between individual cries from a single infant, as well as in the duration of each cry, total crying time, and fundamental frequencies between infants. While the first cry was more like a cry of pain, the fifth cry more resembled crying for reasons other than pain. The results suggest that newborn infants react to pain in a recognizable way. However, other stimuli may cause a similar reaction. Crying can therefore be used to measure pain in newborn infants only when the cause of crying is known. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Acta Pædiatrica
volume
89
issue
1
pages
68 - 72
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000084970200017
  • scopus:0033977286
ISSN
1651-2227
DOI
10.1111/j.1651-2227.2000.tb01190.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9d611068-0bb3-43f5-83bf-04a89727d744 (old id 1296996)
date added to LUP
2009-07-15 13:20:23
date last changed
2017-08-13 04:31:43
@article{9d611068-0bb3-43f5-83bf-04a89727d744,
  abstract     = {The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that a newborn infant's cry can be used in conjunction with an instrument to measure pain. Crying due to pain was analysed after a heel-prick stimulus. In a prospective, descriptive study, 50 healthy newborn infants were subjected to a heel-prick for phenylketonuria screening. Their cries of pain were recorded and analysed. Duration of the crying sound was analysed and, using a sound spectrogram, the fundamental frequency and the cry melody of the first five cry sounds were analysed. The analysis showed that the crying sound after the painful stimulus of the heel-prick had a significantly higher fundamental frequency and lasted longer at the first than at the fifth cry. The first cry had a more varied crying melody than the fifth. There were large differences between individual cries from a single infant, as well as in the duration of each cry, total crying time, and fundamental frequencies between infants. While the first cry was more like a cry of pain, the fifth cry more resembled crying for reasons other than pain. The results suggest that newborn infants react to pain in a recognizable way. However, other stimuli may cause a similar reaction. Crying can therefore be used to measure pain in newborn infants only when the cause of crying is known.},
  author       = {Runefors, Per and Arnbjörnsson, Einar and Elander, G and Michelsson, K},
  issn         = {1651-2227},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {68--72},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Acta Pædiatrica},
  title        = {Newborn infants' cry after heel-prick: analysis with sound spectrogram},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1651-2227.2000.tb01190.x},
  volume       = {89},
  year         = {2000},
}