A former 29-week GA infant is in the NICU where they have been receiving treatment for respiratory distress syndrome. A consult is placed for music therapy to offer specialized music therapy techniques. The potential positive effects on the infant include:

Correct! Wrong!


Correct Answer: D. All of the above, A, B, and C

There is data that suggests music therapy’s cost effectiveness, ability to decrease the length of time needed for a procedure and decrease in the need for sedation in some medical procedures. Specific to the NICU setting, music therapy has been shown to have effects on infants such as decreased length of hospital stay, increased suck reflex, decreased respiratory rate, decreased heart rate, and increased feeding. Music therapy can also be used to provide grief and bereavement support for families to build a lasting legacy.


• Joanne Loewy, Kristen Stewart, Ann-Marie Dassler, Aimee Telsey, Peter Homel; The Effects of Music Therapy on Vital Signs, Feeding, and Sleep in Premature Infants. Pediatrics May 2013; 131 (5): 902–918. 10.1542/peds.2012-1367

• DeLoach Walworth D. Procedural-support music therapy in the healthcare setting: a cost-effectiveness analysis. J Pediatr Nurs. 2005 Aug :20(4):276-84. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2005.02.016. PMID: 16030507.