Ambra Palazzi, Rita Meschini and Cesar Augusto Piccinini

Music Therapy Intervention for the Mother-Preterm Infant Dyad: Evidence from a Case Study in a Brazilian NICU

Ambra Palazzi, Rita Meschini, Cesar Augusto Piccinini


This study investigated the contributions of music therapy to the mother-preterm infant dyad in a NICU. A single case study was carried out involving a mother and her preterm daughter (27 GW). They participated in nine sessions of the Music Therapy Intervention for the Mother and her Preterm Infant -MUSIP, with the aim of sensitizing the mother to the importance of singing. After the MUSIP and in the pre- and post-discharge periods, the mother was interviewed in order to provide an assessment of the intervention; furthermore, the dyad was videotaped during singing and non-singing interactions. The interviews with the mother and the written descriptions of the video footage were examined through thematic analysis. The results showed music therapy contributed: a) to the empowerment of the infant, through relaxation, stabilization of oxygen saturation, the presentation of new competences and engagement in singing; and b) to the empowerment of the mother, through relaxation, the overcoming of embarrassment and the fear of interacting with the infant, and through the strengthening of her maternal competences and her autonomy in singing. Together, the results highlighted the importance of music therapy to the mother-infant interaction, because singing contributed to more prolonged face-to-face contact and more diversified expressions of affection.


Prematurity; NICU; music therapy; maternal singing; mother-infant interaction


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