Potential psychological and biological mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of neonatal music therapy during kangaroo mother care for preterm infants and their parents

Łucja Bieleninik, Mark Ettenberger, Shulamit Epstein, Cochavit Elefant, Shmuel Arnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neonatal music therapy (MT) has become more accessible worldwide. Previous research suggests multiple benefits of MT for preterm infants and their caregivers; however, far too little attention has been paid to understanding the mechanisms of change in previous Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)-MT research so far. This perspective article describes potential mechanisms of MT interventions exposed during kangaroo mother care on the preterm infant’s response (behavioral and physiological outcomes) and the mother-infant relationship. The paper focuses on the hypothalamic– pituitary–adrenal axis’ role in stabilization of behavioral state, the autonomic nervous system’s role in stabilization of physiologic state, as well as co-regulation as a potential mechanism for the developing of the parent-infant relationship. Mechanisms play a pivotal role in understanding variables related to the therapy course and well as in generating new knowledge regarding treatment susceptibility and optimizing resources. Understanding of the mechanisms of how interventions may lead to specific outcomes plays an important role in addressing the issue of improvement of currently available approaches of MT used in the NICU.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8557
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

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

Keywords

  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Bonding
  • Kangaroo care
  • MT
  • Mechanism
  • Music therapy
  • NICU
  • Pituitary– adrenal axis
  • Premature infants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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