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Music Medicine

Title:  “The Effect of Music on the Duration of Treatment of Neonatal Narcotic withdrawal Syndrome”

Eliasar A. Simon, Elmer S. David, Kristin Thistleton, Walter Zahorodny,

Gaylene T. Maichuk, Jennifer L. Vidal.  

Pediatrics, UMDNJ/New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ.

BACKGROUND:  Even when treated aggressively, the antenatally narcotic-exposed newborns (ANENs) experience a stressful and protracted withdrawal syndrome.  A review of literature shows that music exposure of newborns in the NICU shortens the length of hospital stay.

OBJECTIVE:  To determine the effect of music on the duration of treatment for neonatal narcotic withdrawal syndrome.

DESIGN/METHODS:  Twenty (20), full term, otherwise healthy, ANENs undergoing pharmacotherapy with tincture of opium were randomized to a music-exposure group (n=10) or a no-music (control) group (n=10).  ANENs in the music group heard classical piano music, rendered at a tempo of 60 to 80 beats per minute, until the discontinuation of treatment.  Ten equivalent controls where not exposed to music.

RESULTS:  There was no statistical significance in the duration of treatment between music exposure group and no-music (control) group (Mean 17.2, Std Err 2.68 vs. Mean 23.4, Std Err 4.54; Wilcoxan/Kruskal-Wallis test, p-value=0.19).

CONCLUSIONS:  While the result showed no statistical difference in the duration of treatment between music-exposure group and no-music (control) group owing to small sample size of the study groups, there was a trend toward shorter course of treatment and LOS (length of stay) of ANENs exposed to music in conjunction with standard pharmacotherapy.  Nevertheless, the complementary use of music in antenatally narcotic-exposed newborns favored toward minimum utilization of hospital resources and optimum reimbursement.  The actual savings related to LOS was 26%.

Publication/Citation:  Simon E, David E Thistleton K, Zahorodny W, Maichuk G, Vidal J, The Effect of Music on the Duration of Treatment of Neonatal Narcotic Withdrawal Syndrome, Pediatric Research, Vol. 49, No. 4, pg. 20A, 104, April 2001.

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