Predictors and outcomes of the Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale (NOMAS) performance: a systematic review
The NOMAS is by far the most used tool to screen early oral-motor skills in newborns. Here we provide an updated review of scientific literature on the use of the Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale (NOMAS) to screen early oral-motor skills in newborns. An integrative review has been carried out consistent with PRISMA guidelines and standardized qualitative appraisal. Data abstracting and synthesis were executed by two independent co-authors who solved disagreement in conference. Twenty records have been included and reviewed. The efficacy of the NOMAS in screening and identifying precocious oral-motor skills received inconsistent support. Moderate validity and low reliability emerged. Moreover, despite the NOMAS’ adequately screen efficient and inefficient feeders, limited evidence emerged for predictive value of NOMAS score on feeding and psychomotor developmental trajectories during the first 2 years of age.
What is Known:
• The assessment of oral-motor skills in newborns and infants is critical for early intervention
• The NOMAS is the most adopted tool to assess oral-motor skills in newborns and infants
What is New:
• The ability of the NOMAS to target newborn at risk for feeding disorders is confirmed
• Nonetheless, the capacity to predict long-term developmental outcomes is limited
KeywordsNOMAS Oral-motor skills Preterm infants PRISMA Review
Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale
Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
small for gestational age
We are grateful to the colleagues of the Neuropsychiatry and Neuro-rehabilitation Unit and of the 0-3 Center for the at-Risk Infant for their daily support in clinical and research activities.
Author LL performed literature search, Author AC and author DS provided clinical supervision, LP wrote the first manuscript draft, GSDM provided thorough revision of the final draft, and RB conceived the study. All authors approved the final manuscript for submission.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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