Music and Premature Infants
An analyses of 10 studies of music therapy for premature infants resulted in the finding that music improved infant oxygen saturation levels, increased weight gain, and shortened hospital stays. Furthermore, live singing increased tolerance for stimulation, and a pacifier-activated lullaby system reinforced non-nutritive sucking, reduced over-stimulation, increased visitation time in the neonatal intensive care unit and promoted parent infant bonding.(1)
Non-efficacious Outcomes with Music Therapy
Not all studies showed an advantage for music intervention. For example, in a controlled study 75 patients in a coronary unit were assigned to either a group listening to music, a group listening to white noise, or a group with no music or noise. After evaluating the data, no differences were found among the three groups for anxiety scores or physiologic parameters. Silence and white noise were just as effective in lowering heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, and anxiety as the music selected by the patients. The authors of the study actually found that the therapeutic effects were because of the 30 minutes uninterrupted relaxation.(2)
My next post on this topic will include a study on drumming, its effects on the immune system and stress. I will also present a conclusion on music therapy.
1. Standley J. A Meta-analysis of the Efficacy of Music Therapy for Premature Infants. J Pediatric Nurs 17(2) (2002):107
2. Zimmerman L., Pierson M., Marker J. Effects of Music on Patient Anxiety in Coronary Care Units. Heart Lung 17. (1988):560