Study Characteristics

First AuthorStudySubjectsIntervention Group(s)Control Group(s)Outcomes
YearCountryDesignN Infant Participants Randomized (Analyzed)N Parent Participants Randomized (Analyzed)GA at Birth (wk)Postmenstrual Age at Study Start (wk)BW (g)Sex, n Female (%)Treatment Total Sessions (Time)Duration (d)1) Included in Meta–analysis; 2)Summarized Narratively; 3)Not Included in This Review
Arnon2006IsraelCrossover31 (31)n/aMdn, 29 (IQR, 25–34)Mdn, 34 (IQR, 32–40)Mdn, 1175 (IQR, 650–1737)17 (55%)Group 1a: live music; Group 2: recorded music2 (30 min)3No MT1) HR, RR, O2 SAT, behavior state; 3) Self-report of effect of therapy
Arnon2014IsraelCrossover86 (86)86Mdn, 31 (IQR, 25–33)Mdn, 35 (IQR, 27–42)Mdn, 1411 (IQR, 640–2512)47 (55%)Live maternal singing + KC2 (40 min)2KC1) HR, RR, O2 SAT, behavior state, maternal anxiety (STAI); 3) HR variability, mother's HR, mother’s RR, mother’s O2 SAT
Calabro2003AustraliaParallel22 (17)n/aM, 3410 (59%)Recorded sedative music4 (20 min)4No MT2) HR, RR, O2 SAT, behavioral distressb
Cassidy2009USParallel63 (63)n/a(range, 28–33)32 (50%)Group 1a + 2a: recorded lullaby music and classic music4 (20 min)4Standard NICU care1) HR, RR, O2 SAT; 2) Head circumference.
Cevasco2008USParallel25 (20)21 (16)M, 32.1 (SD, 1.7, range, 28–34)M, 1657.25 (SD, 365.8, range, 954–2535)8 (40%)Recorded music with mother's singing3–5 per wk (20 min)until dischargeStandard NICU care1) Postmenstrual age at discharge; 2) Bonding, discharge weight, parental adjustment; 3) Value of music interaction, CD importance score, after-birth complications, frequency of music interaction post discharge
Chorna2014USParallel100 (94)n/aMdn, 30 (IQR, 28–32)(range, 34–35)Mdn, 1450 (IQR, 1089–1713)47 (50%)PAL with mother’s recorded voice5 (15 min)5Standard NICU care1) Length of hospitalization; 2) Oral feeding volume, oral feeding frequency, number of days to full oral feeding, discharge wt; 3) Growth rate, change in salivary cortisol levels
Ettenberger2014ColombiaParallel30 (19)26 (18)M, 32.4 (SD, 1.5, range, 30–37)M, 34.16M, 1710.4 (SD, 310.2)8 (42%)Group 1a: MT with caregivers during KC; Group 2: MT with the babies alone4 (8–25 min)14KC1) HR, O2 SAT, weight gain, length of hospitalization, maternal anxiety (STAI–C); 2) size, discharge weight, head circumference, neurodevelopment (BSID–II), bonding (MIBS)
Johnston2007CanadaCrossover39 (20)n/aM, 33.1 (SD, 0.89)M, 34.1M, 1985 (SD, 312)9 (43%)Recorded mother’s voice6 preparatory + 1 procedure (∼10 min)4No Acoustic stimulation1) HR, O2 SAT, behavioral distress (PIPP), behavior state; 3) Facial action (NFCS)
Keith2009USCrossover24 (22)n/aM, 33.12 (SD, 2.45, range, 32–40)7 (32%)Recorded lullaby music2 (∼18 min)4Standard NICU care1) HR, RR, O2 SAT; 2) Blood pressure; 3) Length of inconsolable episode, frequency inconsolable episode
Loewy2013USCrossover272 (272)M, 29.57 (SD, 2.89)M, 1321.22 (SD, 495.32)152 (56%)Group 1a: live, song of kin or parent–preferred lullaby; Group 2: heartbeat sounds via Gato box; Group 3: breathing sounds via Ocean disc6 (∼10 min)14No explicit aural stimulation1) HR, RR, O2 SAT; 2) Activity levels, sucking behavior, behavior state, caloric intake, parental stress
Schlez2011IsraelCrossover52 (52)52 (52)Mdn, 32 (IQR, 26–36)Mdn, 37 (IQR, 28–47)Mdn, 1641 (IQR, 760–2715)28 (54%)Live harp music therapy + KC1 (30 min)1KC1) HR, RR, O2 SAT, behavior state, maternal anxiety (STAI); 3) Mother’s HR, mother’s RR, mother’s O2 SAT
Standley2003USParallel32 (32)n/aM, 31.7 (range, 24–40)M, 36.1 (range, 33–41)M, 1561.2 (range, 620–2640)16 (50%)PAL1 (15–20 min)1Standard NICU care2) Nipple feeding rates
Standley2010USParallel68 (68)n/aM, 29.2(range, 32–36)M, 1179.835 (51%)PALGroup 1: 1 (15 min); Group 2a: 3 (15 min)5; 5No PAL1) Weight gain; 2) Discharge weight, d before nipple feeding, d of nipple feeding
Vianna2011BrazilParallel101 (94)M, 30.14 (SD, 2.71)M, 1271 (SD, 308)Mother-centered music therapy with or without KC∼9 (60 min)Until dischargeStandard NICU care and usual care after discharge1) Length of hospitalization; 2) Breastfeeding frequency
Walworth2012USParallel167 (108)n/a(range, 32–36)<250050 (46%)Group 1a: DMS with unaccompanied live lullaby singing; Group 2a: DMS with guitar accompanied live lullaby singing1 per wk (20 min)Until dischargeStandard NICU care1) Length of hospitalization, weight gain, postmenstrual age at discharge, time to full oral feeds; 2) Time of receiving intravenous nutrition
Whipple2008USParallel60 (60)n/a(range, 32–37)<250030 (50%)PAL1 (15 min)11: Pacifier only; 2a: Standard NICU care1) HR, RR, O2 SAT, behavior state, behavioral distress
  • BSID-II, Bayley Scales of Infant Development-Second Edition; BW, birth weight; DMS, developmental multimodal stimulation; IQR, interquartile range; M, mean; Mdn, median; MIBS, Mother-To-Infant Bonding Scale; n/a, not applicable; NFCS, Neonatal Facial Coding System; PAL, Pacifier Activated Lullaby device; PIPP, Premature Infant Pain Profile; STAI-C, STAI for Children; —, data not available.

  • a The treatment group selected for analysis.

  • b Reviewed narratively because no usable end-point data for meta-analysis were available.