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. Conclusion: The present review highlights benefits and limitations of the NOMAS. Future research is needed to develop observational and clinically-relevant tools to better identify newborns which are at lower- and higher-risk of developing less-than-optimal feeding behaviors and to guide with greater precision the diagnostic and therapeutic journey of these newborns.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 infantsWhat 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.
- Oral-motor skills
- Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
- Preterm infants