Effects of music therapy on pain responses induced by blood sampling in premature infants: A randomized cross-over trial

Fidan Shabani, Nahid Dehghan Nayeri, Roghiyeh Karimi, Khadijeh Zarei, Mohammad Chehrazi



Background: Premature infants are subjected to many painful procedures during care and treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of music therapy on physiological and behavioral pain responses of premature infants during and after blood sampling.

Materials and Methods: This study was a cross-over clinical trial conducted on 20 infants in a hospital affiliated to Tehran University of Medical Sciences for a 5-month period in 2011. In the experimental group, “Transitions” music was played from 5 min before until 10 min after blood sampling. The infants’ facial expressions and physiological measures were recorded from 10 min before until 10 min after sampling. All steps and measurements, except music therapy, were the same for the control group. Data were analyzed using SAS and SPSS software through analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Chi-square tests.

Results: There were significant differences between the experimental and control groups (P = 0.022) in terms of heart rate during needle extraction and at the first 5 min after sampling (P = 0.005). Considering the infant’s sleep–wake state in the second 5 min before sampling, the statistical difference was significant (P = 0.044). Difference was significant (P = 0.045) during injection of the needle, in the first 5 min after sampling (P = 0.002), and in the second 5 min after sampling (P=0.005). There were significant difference in infants’ facial expressions of pain in the first 5 min after sampling (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Music therapy reduces the physiological and behavioral responses of pain during and after blood sampling.

Key words: Infant, infant behavior, Iran, music therapy, pain, physiologic, premature


Infant; infant behavior; Iran; music therapy; pain; physiologic; premature

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