Are there differences between the expectations of parents, nurses and physicians when using music in NICU?


This paper aimed to describe and explain the expectations concerning the use of music in NICU from the viewpoints of parents, nurses and physicians. The relevant questionnaires were distributed to 836 participants who were recruited from the country’s five university hospitals (n = 508, response rate 61). Slightly over half of the participants preferred recorded music versus live music in the NICU. They strongly expected that their preferred music could be beneficial both for the infants, parents and staff. The parents agreed most that live music is the most suitable choice for infants (p < 0.001), and that the music could especially benefit the infant (p < 0.001) and parents (p < 0.001) compared with the nurses’ and physicians’ preferences. Some background details such as age, average length of time listening to music, musical training and experiences of using music provided significant explanations for the participants’ expectations. In conclusion, there were significant differences between the groups of the respondents concerning the type of the preferred music and its expected effects. This highlights the importance of discussion with the caregivers when taking music into regular use in the neonatal intensive care units.

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Tarja, P. , Anne, K. , Timo, S. , Outi, P. and Helena, L. (2012) Are there differences between the expectations of parents, nurses and physicians when using music in NICU?. Open Journal of Nursing, 2, 215-221. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2012.23033.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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