Preterm Infants Exhibited Less Pain During a Heel Stick When They Were Played the Same Music Their Mothers Listened to During Pregnancy


Acta Paediatrica




Aim: Playing music during painful procedures has shown inconsistent benefits for preterm infants. This study observed preterm infants during a heel stick procedure to assess whether listening to the music their mothers listened to during pregnancy had any impact on their pain and physiological and behavioural parameters. Methods: We randomly exposed 42 preterm infants, with a mean gestational age of 31.8 ± 2.79 weeks, to the music their mothers listened to during pregnancy, recorded lullabies and no music, before, during and after a heel stick. Pain responses were measured using the Neonatal Pain, Agitation and Sedation Scale (N-PASS), and physiological and behavioural responses were recorded by a nurse blinded to the intervention. Results: N-PASS pain scores were lowest during mothers’ music, with a mean of 1.40 (± 1.28), compared to 2.33 (± 1.64) for no music and 1.62 (± 2.27) for the lullabies [F(3/121) = 4.86, p = 0.009]. Physiological parameters were not significantly different between the conditions. During the mothers’ music, infants spent more time in a quiet alert state, with a significant decrease in their respiratory rates. Conclusion: The music mothers listened to during pregnancy was more beneficial for preterm infants, as it decreased pain and improved behavioural states during a heel stick. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Behavioral State; Distress; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Infants; Invasive Medical Procedures; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Neonatal Procedures; Newborn Infants; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Premature Infants; Procedural Pain; Recorded Music Listening; Respiratory Rate; Vital signs

Indexed Terms

Agitation and Sedation Scale; Neonatal pain; Prenatal music exposure; Preterm infants; Infant Development; Pain; Premature Birth; Prenatal Exposure

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type