This meta-analysis on music research with premature infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) showed an overall large, significant, consistent effect size of almost a standard deviation (d =.83) (Cohen, 1998). Effects were not mediated by infants' gestational age at the time of study, birthweight, or type of music delivery nor by physiologic, behavioral, or developmental measures of benefit. The homogeneity of findings suggests that music has statistically significant and clinically important benefits for premature infants in the NICU. The unique acoustic properties that differentiate music from all other sounds are discussed and clinical implications for research-based music therapy procedures cited.
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