Parents' Perception of Family-Centered Music Therapy with Stable Preterm Infants

Premature birth places considerable demands on preterm infants and their families. Most of these infants are treated on a neonatal intensive care unit immediately after birth, leading to psychosocial stress for parents and making it more difficult to build a stable parent-child bond. We hypothesized that accompaniment with live music therapy by a music therapist supports the parents to get in contact with their child and to promote the parents’ wellbeing. Preterm infants born at less than 32 gestational weeks received creative music therapy twice a week until discharge. At the time of discharge, the parents were asked to complete a Likert-style questionnaire to evaluate the music therapy. Six items related to socio-demographic characteristics, 4 items to observations on the infant and 10 items to personal perception. Of 40 preterm infants receiving music therapy, 32 (80%) parents completed the questionnaires. Thirty (94%) of these parents were able to relax during the music therapy session. Relaxation in their infants was observed by 29 (91%) during and by 28 (88%) after music therapy. Parents perceived music therapy as a positive change and enrichment during their infant’s hospital stay. All parents were thankful for the music therapy they received. Music therapy supports the parents of preterm infants in the first time after birth until discharge from the hospital.


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