Parental attitudes toward consent for music intervention studies in preterm infants: A cross-sectional study

Sofia Bauer, Shulamit Epstein, Łucja Bieleninik, Dana Yakobson, Cochavit Elefant, Shmuel Arnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


(1) Background: This study investigated parents’ motives for enrolling preterm infants into music therapy intervention studies during Neonatal Intensive Care hospitalization. (2) Methods: We surveyed Israeli parents of preterm infants after they consented or refused to participate in such studies. The pre-piloted questionnaires evaluated attitudes toward research and music therapy intervention studies. The study included 116 (57%) parents who agreed to participate in music therapy studies and 87 (43%) who declined. (3) Results: Infants of those who agreed to participate were younger (17 ± 2.3 vs. 28 ± 4.7 days old, p = 0.03) and sicker (Clinical Risk Index for Babies score 6.1 ± 2.7 vs. 3.68 ± 4.1, p = 0.04). More single-parent families declined to participate (p = 0.05). Parents agreed to participate because they thought the study might help their child, would improve future care of preterm infants and increase medical knowledge (all p < 0.05). In addition, they perceived music as beneficial for brain development, thought it might improve bonding, and routinely listened to music daily. (4) Conclusions: When recruiting parents and preterm infants for music therapy intervention studies, one should highlight potential contributions to the child’s health, future children’s health and medical knowledge. Stressing music as a potential tool for brain development and augmenting bonding is important. The best time to recruit is when improvements are still anticipated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7989
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number15
StatePublished - 28 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Music therapy
  • Observational study
  • Parental consent
  • Preterm infants
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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