“The value of music therapy is slowly being realized by nurses in various clinical areas, including obstetrics. Previous studies have demonstrated a high prevalence of psychological stress during pregnancy.” write researchers in a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
The study found that participants listening to 30 minutes of music a day over a two week period significantly reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, when compared with participants who did not listen to music.
For the study 236 pregnant women in Taiwan with similar backgrounds and education levels were split into two groups. One was given music to listen to them for a half hour per day. The other half did not listen to music.
The women in the music group had a significant drop in stress, anxiety, and depression scores, while the other group had a minor drop in stress. Overall, the changes seen in the music group were significantly different after the two weeks of music therapy.
“Pregnancy is a unique and stressful period for many expectant mothers and they suffer anxiety and depression because of the long time period involved. Any intervention that reduces these problems is to be welcomed. Our study shows that listening to suitable music provides a simple, cost-effective and non-invasive way of reducing stress, anxiety and depression during pregnancy.” said study author Chung-Hey Chen, from the National Cheng Kung University.
Journal of Clinical Nursing