Roa & Ettenberger, Medicines (Basel). 2018 Dec
Background: The parents of preterm infants face major mental health challenges in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Family-centered music therapy actively integrates and empowers parents in their infants’ care. With the aim to better understand and address parental needs separately from their babies’ needs, a music therapy (MT) self-caregroup was implemented as part of clinical practice at the hospital Clínica de la Mujer, in Bogotá, Colombia. Results: The parents highly valued the MT self-care group in the NICU. On average, there was a 37% improvement in anxiety levels, 28% improvement in stress levels, and 12% improvement in mood, restfulness and motivation. Being able to relax, to distract themselves from their worries and having time for themselves are amongst the most frequently mentioned benefits. Conclusions: Addressing parents’ needs separately from their babies’ treatment, with culturally sensitive interventions aimed at improving parental mental health, is essential for continuing the development of family-centered music therapy interventions in the NICU.