The effect of melody on the physiological responses of heel sticks pain in neonates

Maryam Marofi, Farzaneh Nikobakht, Zohreh Badiee, Mehri Golchin



Background: During health care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), infants undergo extremely painful procedures, which may cause problems, if not controlled, such as changes in the pattern of respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation. The present study aimed to find the effect of melody on the physiological responses of neonates’ heel stick pain.

Materials and Methods: This quasi‑experimental study was conducted in Alzahra Hospital (Isfahan, Iran) for 5 months. Fifty infants were selected through convenient sampling method and were randomly assigned in equal numbers to two groups (n = 25). In the melody group (intervention), a selected melody was played for the infants at a distance of 1 m from them, with a sound intensity of 65 dB, from 3 minutes before, during, and after the heel stick procedure, respectively, and their physiological responses were observed with a monitoring system and recorded at the afore‑mentioned time periods. Physiological responses were also recorded in the control group (no intervention) 3 min before, during, and after the heel stick procedure, respectively.

Results: Means of respiratory and pulse rates in the melody and control groups showed a significant difference at different time points. But the mean blood oxygen saturation in the melody group showed no significant difference at different time points, although the difference was significant in the control group.

Conclusions: The results showed that melody could maintain more balance in some physiological responses of infants, such as the respiratory rate and pulse rate during the Guthrie test. Therefore, melody is recommended to be used to prevent the destructive effects of pain in infants during painful procedures.

Key words: Intensive care units, Iran, neonate, nursing

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