The Effects of Recorded Lullaby Music on the Physiological and Behavioral States in Infants in the NICU: A Pilot Study
Jambor, Hayley B.
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Session presented on Friday, September 26, 2014: The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of selected recorded lullaby music on the vital signs (heart rates, respiratory rates, oxygen saturation levels) and behavioral states (quiet sleep, active sleep, drowsy, quiet alert, active alert, and crying) in infants greater than or equal to 32 weeks gestation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). There were four research questions: 1) Is there a difference in the mean heart rates in premature infants receiving music therapy compared with premature infants not receiving music therapy, 2) Is there a difference in the mean oxygen saturation rates in premature infants receiving music therapy compared with premature infants not receiving music therapy, 3) Is there a difference in the mean respiratory rates in premature infants receiving music therapy compared with premature infants not receiving music therapy, 4) Is there a difference in behavioral states in premature infants receiving music therapy compared with premature infants not receiving music therapy. Thirty infants participated in the quasi-experimental quantitative study. A crossover research design was used in which infants served as their experimental and control groups, respectively. The experimental group received music therapy (the independent variable) on days one, three, and five. On days on two, four, and six, infants served as their own control group. Some infants were discharged prior to the sixth day. The crossover design controlled for variability among the sample. Music was played on a CD player in the infants room and was set at 60 decibels as recommended. Heart rates, respiratory rates, oxygen saturations, and behavioral states were recorded ten minutes prior to the first evening feeding, five minutes into the feeding, and ten minutes after the feeding was complete. Statistically significant findings (at the p< 0.05) included heart rates (p= 0.000), oxygen saturations (p = 0.015), and behavioral states (p = 0.015). The application of music therapy was found to be significantly associated with decrease in crying (26.7%) as well as a significant increase in quiet sleep (70.6%). In addition, the application of music therapy enhanced feeding because infants spent more time significantly in the quiet alert (57.8%) and active alert (51.4%) states. The application of music therapy was not statistically significant for the respiratory rates. From the results found, music therapy is associated with achieving optimal behavioral states that promote neurological and behavioral development in infants in the NICU.