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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3869

Title: The Uses of Music and Music Therapy to Decrease Stress and Anxiety During Pregnancy: A Systematic Categorization of the Literature
Authors: Cook, Elizabeth Collins
Keywords: Music Therapy;Stress;Anxiety;Pregnancy
Issue Date: 15-Oct-2012
Abstract: The purpose of this literature-based study was to assemble the present uses of music and music therapy during pregnancy to decrease maternal emotional and physiological stress and anxiety. The assembling of extant literature in this study intends to serve the health profession by 1) providing a clear explanation of the effects of untreated maternal stress and anxiety on fetal brain and physical development, 2) demonstrate that music and music therapy interventions are a powerful, safe and affordable intervention that can be recommended to all pregnant women, 3) elevate this common yet usually unaddressed experience of prenatal stress and anxiety to the forefront of discussion among music therapists and 4) inspire more music therapists to specialize in treating this delicate population. Based on those findings it intended to make recommendations for informed strategic interventions. Several studies have demonstrated the serious, negative, short and long term health effects of untreated prenatal stress, anxiety and depression on maternal and fetal, infant and child health. Other studies have demonstrated serious risks of traditional pharmaceutical interventions on both short and long term health of fetus, infant and child development. There is a dearth of research on non-traditional herbal interventions. Present medical recommendations are to avoid administering pharmaceuticals during pregnancy except under extreme and life threatening situations. The rationale for this study was to assemble successful uses of music and music therapy interventions which seemingly pose no risk to these two vulnerable and inextricably linked populations. Several thorough studies have demonstrated in the short term that listening to specific selections of recorded music positively affect both maternal stress hormone levels and individual reports of the experience of stress and anxiety. Sundry applications of music therapy including but not limited to guided imagery and music (GIM), individual and group clinical music therapy and medical music resonance therapy have also been researched. In some studies, experiment groups were large enough and methods were thorough enough to demonstrate effectiveness. In smaller studies, findings give cause for an optimistic continuation of further research. The results of this literature based study suggest that music listening and music therapy are useful tools when administered alone or when integrated with other interventions for the treatment of prenatal stress and anxiety. It also emerged in the literature that the therapeutic relationship between patient and music therapist is a crucial ingredient to the desired long term positive therapeutic effects.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3869
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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