Music played to premature babies may lessen pain and improve feeding habits

May 27, 2009

Music played to premature babies may help to reduce their pain and encourage better oral feeding, suggests research published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Increasing numbers of neonatal units are using music as a method to help improve behavioural and physiological outcomes or to manage during common procedures such as circumcision.

The benefits are said to be calmer infants and parents, a stable condition in the child's functions, higher oxygen saturation, faster weight gain and shorter hospital stays.

Previous research however, has not been strong enough to back this approach.

A team of researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada reviewed nine existing randomised trials published between 1989 and 2006 to see how effective and worthwhile it was using music in this way.

The trials they studied covered a diverse range of populations studied in different ways, which made it difficult to have definitive conclusions, but they found much preliminary evidence for therapeutic benefits of music for specific indications.

Outcomes most often reported in the trials were physiological measures such as heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and pain.

One of the high quality studies reviewed that looked at using music during circumcision, showed music did have benefits for infants' , , and pain.

In three of the studies that looked at heel prick - a common procedure for taking a from the heel of newborn infants - there was evidence that using music could have benefits for behaviour and pain.

The authors conclude: "There is preliminary evidence to suggest that music may have beneficial effects in terms of physiological parameters, behavioural states and pain reduction during painful medical procedures.

"While there is preliminary evidence for some therapeutic benefits of for specific indications, these benefits need to be confirmed in well-designed, high quality trials."

Source: British Medical Journal (news : web)

Explore further: German medics report on drug success for Ebola patient

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Better tools needed for assessing infant pain

Jun 24, 2008

Currently used pain assessment tools may be underestimating the pain response in infants according to a study published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine this week. Dr Slater and colleagues (University College London ...

Music reduces stress in heart disease patients

Apr 15, 2009

Listening to music may benefit patients who suffer severe stress and anxiety associated with having and undergoing treatment for coronary heart disease. A Cochrane Systematic Review found that listening to music could decrease ...

Pretermers bounce back from pain with a cuddle

Apr 24, 2008

Research published today in the open access journal BMC Pediatrics suggests that very preterm babies, born between 28 and 31 weeks, could benefit from skin-to-skin cuddling with their mother before and during painful proced ...

Adolescents involved with music do better in school

Feb 10, 2009

A new study in the journal Social Science Quarterly reveals that music participation, defined as music lessons taken in or out of school and parents attending concerts with their children, has a positive effect on readin ...

Recommended for you

Arriving now at gate 42: measles

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Traveling through the same U.S. airport gate, one infected passenger transmitted the measles virus to three others within a four-hour time span, illustrating just how easily the virus can spread, ...

Scratch from pet rat kills child; CDC warns of risk

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The tragic death from "rat-bite fever" of a 10-year-old San Diego boy highlights the risk carried by the pet rodents, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.