Music Therapy and the Families of NICU Infants : A Proposed Program for Development and Implementation
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
College of the Arts
John J. Cali School of Music
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
This thesis proposes a music therapy program for families whose infants are hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The goals of the program include the following: reduction of stress, anxiety and depression; working through trauma responses via the promotion of relaxation and the facilitation of coping skills. A review of the literature leads to the conclusion that families of NICU infants are under-served in terms of populations receiving music therapy as a supportive service. It is important to note that this population is often suffering from the same debilitating symptoms addressed in music therapy treatment of adults with mental health issues. Although the family may suffer from acute symptoms of trauma, anxiety, stress or depression which can both manifest and diffuse quickly, these symptoms occur during the same period when it is vital the family remain healthy for their infant. Music therapy clinical interventions including clinical improvisation, relaxation and songwriting, will systematically address the acute issues presented by the family, member(s) attempting to cope with their infant’s premature birth and subsequent hospitalization.
Ferraiuolo-Thompson, Angela, "Music Therapy and the Families of NICU Infants : A Proposed Program for Development and Implementation" (2009). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 1155.