Objective: Aimed to investigate (a) the effect of non-stress test (NST) and music on maternal anxiety (b) the effect of maternal anxiety and music on fetal heart rate (FHR) changes.
Material and method: The two hundred and one pregnant women coming for routine prenatal care were randomized to receive either music (n=96) or no music (n=105) during NST. Before and after the test, these women were asked to complete the Spielberg State-Trait Anxiety Inventory on two interviews; primary outcome was considered as a maternal state anxiety score before and after NST. Secondary outcome was the baseline FHR, the number of fetal movement, large accelerations, dubious NST, variable decelerations, and the minimum procedure time.
Results: Before NST, the mean state anxiety score of the music and control groups was found as 38.1 +/- 8.8 and 38.08 +/-8.2, respectively (p>0.05). On the other hand, after NST, the mean state anxiety score of the music and control groups was found as 35.5 +/- 8.2 and 40.2 +/- 9.2, respectively (p<0.001). While in control group, NST brought about a statistically significant increase in a state anxiety score (38.08 +/- 8.2 versus 40.2 +/- 9.2, p<0.001), listening to music during NST resulted in decrease in a state anxiety score of the study group but it was not statistically significant (38.1 +/- 8.8 versus 35.5 +/- 8.2, p>0.05). The baseline FHR of the music group was significantly higher than that of the control group (134.09 +/- 7.2 versus 130.3 +/- 5.7, p<0.001).The number of fetal movement in the music group was significantly higher than that of the control group (8.9 +/- 4.7 versus 5.9 +/- 3.9, p<0.001). The number of large accelerations in music group was significantly higher than that of the control group (5.7 +/- 2.1 versus 4.5 +/- 2.04, p<0.001). The minimum procedure time in music group was significantly lower than that of control group (13.4 +/- 5.2 versus 15.6 +/- 6.1, p<0.05). The number of dubious NST and variable decelerations was found to be similar for both groups (p>0.05).
Conclusion: NST has anxiogenic effects on mothers and listening to music during the test has positive impact on both maternal and fetal parameters but it is an open question whether maternal anxiety during pregnancy may affect fetal accelerations to such an extent that it could influence clinical judgments.