Family-integrated neonatal music therapy: A descriptive pilot study of parental perceptions on music therapy participation and long-term influences

Janice W. Stouffer, Fumiyuki Chin Gardner, Christina A. Myers, Kim Kopenhaver Doheny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Following a family-integrated music therapy (MT) approach, describe parental perceptions on the use of music with maternal voice to soothe and connect with the infant and the long-term influence of this approach on parents’ integration of music postdischarge. Design: In this descriptive, observational within-subjects pilot cohort study, board-certified music therapists instructed and recorded mothers in singing selected songs of kin. Infants received the recorded sessions weekly from enrollment to discharge. Parents were surveyed at 1- and 6-year postdischarge. Sample: Medically stable preterm infants (n = 12) and their English-speaking parents (n = 17). Main Outcome Variable: Parent perceptions on participation and long-term influence on family integration of music during hospitalization and postdischarge. Results: Parents reported knowledge of soothing and interacting with their children as the highest benefit of MT. They also perceived the effects of an easier transition home, enhanced learning and child development, and personal benefits of positive mood and enhanced relaxation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalNeonatal Network
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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