The parents of preterm infants face major mental health challenges in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Family-centered music therapy actively integrates and empowers parents in their infants’ care. With the aim to better understand and address parental needs separately from their babies’ needs, a music therapy (MT) self-care group was implemented as part of clinical practice at the hospital Clínica de la Mujer, in Bogotá, Colombia. Methods:
The group was provided for both parents, twice a week, in the NICU. Music guided relaxations, breathing techniques, and self-expression were at the center of the MT group sessions. The parents completed a pre/post self-administered Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), including anxiety levels, stress levels, mood and motivation. Results:
The parents highly valued the MT self-care group in the NICU. On average, there was a 37% improvement in anxiety levels, 28% improvement in stress levels, and 12% improvement in mood, restfulness and motivation. Being able to relax, to distract themselves from their worries and having time for themselves are amongst the most frequently mentioned benefits. Conclusions:
Addressing parents’ needs separately from their babies’ treatment, with culturally sensitive interventions aimed at improving parental mental health, is essential for continuing the development of family-centered music therapy interventions in the NICU.
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