(From the February 2014 issue of Research Now)
Dr. Tondi Harrison’s research focuses on improving autonomic function in infants recovering from surgery for complex congenital heart disease. Dr. Harrison is currently finishing recruitment and data collection on a skin-to-skin intervention for newborn infants who have undergone cardiac surgery and their mothers. Preliminary analysis demonstrates promising improvements in autonomic function and high satisfaction among mothers completing the intervention. In addition, Dr. Harrison and Dr. Jill Fitch, MD and intensivist in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit, have completed data collection for a study of effects of post-operative massage on pain and autonomic function and are currently analyzing data. Dr. Harrison theorizes that improving autonomic function in these infants will enhance neurodevelopment.
Harrison TM. Autonomic nervous system function, child behavior, and maternal sensitivity in three-year-old children with surgically corrected transposition. Heart & Lung. 2013 Nov-Dec, 42(6):414-21. Epub 2013 Sep 12.