Music therapy can reduce psychological stress among pregnant women, according to research published in a special complementary and alternative medicine issue of the UK-based Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Researchers from the College of Nursing at Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan, randomly assigned 116 pregnant women to a music group and 120 to a control group.
“The music group showed significant reductions in stress, anxiety and depression after just two weeks, using three established measurement scales” says Professor Chung-Hey Chen, who is now based at the National Cheng Kung University.
“In comparison, the control group showed a much smaller reduction in stress, while their anxiety and depression scores showed little or no improvement.
“Women in the music group also expressed preferences for the type of music they listened to, with lullabies, nature and crystal sounds proving more popular than classical music.”
The women who took part in the study had an average age of 30 years, were between 18 to 34 weeks’ pregnant and expected to have uncomplicated vaginal deliveries. All but five of the 241 women, who were recruited from the antenatal clinic at a medical centre in southern Taiwan, completed the pre and post-test assessments.
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