Music Therapy Self-Care Group for Parents of Preterm Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Clinical Pilot Intervention

Roa & Ettenberger, Medicines (Basel). 2018 Dec

Abstract

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.