The Effect of Music on Respiratory and Heart Rate of Premature Infants


avatar Ahmad Shah_farhat 1 , * , avatar S Kamarbandi 1 , avatar R Amiri 1 , avatar A Mohammadzadeh 1


how to cite: Shah_farhat A, Kamarbandi S, Amiri R, Mohammadzadeh A. The Effect of Music on Respiratory and Heart Rate of Premature Infants. J Kermanshah Univ Med Sci. 2008;12(3):e79955.


Introduction: Among infants hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit, excessive noise is correlated with increases in heart rate, increase in respiratory rate, decrease in oxygen saturation as well as sleep disturbances. Apart from overcoming the noise in the environment, music is believed to enhance the infant’s general well-being, reduce its stress and   unpleasant symptoms. This study examines the effects of music on the heart and respiratory rate of the premature infants in NICU.
Materials and Methods: This study was a controlled trial, with two groups (control group & music group) and two response variables (HR, RR). The sample included 44 premature infants hospitalizrd in NICU of Imam Reza and Ghaem hospitals in Mashhad in 2005. They were randomly assigned to two groups - the control group. The control group did not receive any intervention whatsoever. However, a 20-minute lullaby was played for the music group each day. Each group was observed for a period of 8 days. The observation took 40 minutes each day during which the heart rate was recorded every one minute using pulse oximeter and the respiratory rate was counted every 5 minutes for the two groups. Using the data, mean of variations was calculated for each group on a daily basis. Data were then analyzed using SPSS soft ware version 11.5.
Results: The mean of birth weight for the music group was 1278.63gr and in control group it was 1298.18 gr. Gestational age for the music group was 30.5 weeks with 30.45 for the control group. Our results showed that the mean of respiratory rate changes increased significantly in music group (p=0/017). Yet no difference was observed in the mean of the heart rate change between the two groups (p=0/24).
Conclusion: Music which is a predictable stable source of stimulation has the power to overcome the noise in the environment.  Music reduces the stress experienced by the infant which in turn will have an effect on the physiological responses including heart and respiratory rate


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© 2008, Journal of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.