Music May Improve Infant Behavior, Reduce Pain

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May 28, 2009

A lullaby might do more than help infants fall asleep at night. According to a review in the Archives of Disease in Childhood , music could improve behavior and help reduce pain in premature infants.

Researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, conducted a review of nine studies that looked at the therapeutic benefits of music on preterm infants. Because of the quality of the studies, researchers were unable to form a definitive conclusion; however, they stated that there is preliminary evidence that music can help in specific cases. For example, one high-quality study found that music had a positive effect on heart rate, oxygen saturation and pain management for infants who had undergone a circumcision. Otherwise, the researchers conclude that the overall benefits of music need to be confirmed in more rigorous trials.