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The Effects of Music on Fear of Childbirth and Outcome of Delivery (MUUSA)

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified September 2012 by Helsinki University Central Hospital.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Assi Sten, Helsinki University Central Hospital Identifier:
First received: September 10, 2012
Last updated: September 15, 2012
Last verified: September 2012
The aim of this trial is to find out if active music listening during pregnancy and delivery reliefs fear of childbirth, pain in delivery, need for analgesia during delivery and if there is an effect on delivery complications. Also we try to find out if there is any influence on mother-baby relationship.

Condition Intervention
Fear of Childbirth
Behavioral: Music

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Longitudinal Trial About the Effects of Music on Fear of Childbirth and Outcome of Delivery

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Helsinki University Central Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • spontaneous vaginal delivery [ Time Frame: day of delivery ]
    delivery data collected from the patient records afterwards

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Delivery satisfaction [ Time Frame: within three days after delivery (before leaving the postpartum ward) ]
    specific questionnaires

Other Outcome Measures:
  • early mother-infant relationship [ Time Frame: 6 months after delivery ]
    specific questionnaires

  • mental wellbeing [ Time Frame: during pregnancy and up to 6 months after delivery ]
    specific questionnaires and diaries

Estimated Enrollment: 800
Study Start Date: October 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Fear of childbirth, music
Patients referred to the motherhood out-patient clinic because of fear of childbirth. Advised to active music listening. Followed up by weekly and monthly diaries and three questionnaires (when recruiting, just after the delivery and 6 months after the delivery).
Behavioral: Music
No Intervention: Fear of childbirth, control
Patients referred to the motherhood out-patient clinic because of fear of childbirth. No intervention. Followed up by three questionnaires (when recruiting, just after the delivery and 6 months after the delivery).
Active Comparator: Nulliparous, music
300 nulliparous women recruited from the ultrasound screening. Advised to active music listening. Three questionnaires like the other arms, weekly and monthly diaries like the other music group. Screening questionnaires about fear of childbirth.
Behavioral: Music
No Intervention: Nulliparous, control
300 nulliparous women recruited from ultrasound screening. No intervention. 3 Questionnaires as all the other groups. Screening questionnaire about fear of childbirth.

Detailed Description:

In Finland fear of childbirth is one of the common reasons for consultation of obstetrician and mother´s demand on elective caesarean section. Approximately 5-8% of pregnant women suffer from severe fear of childbirth, which disturbs their family-life and working and prevents normal preparation to childbirth and parenthood.

Listening or playing music is very common in all cultures. Even fetuses are able to hear and recognize music and babies are interested in voices and sounds of music.

Music therapy has been used in other purposes widely. It is known that music stimulates the synthesis of dopamine in brain and it has been shown that music has an influence on hypertensive rats, lowering their blood pressure. In human beings there has been pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain. It has also been shown that music listening enhances cognitive recovery and mood after middle cerebral artery stroke.

A strong attachment between mother and infant is essential to child's normal developement. Mothers who suffer from very strong fear of childbirth often have difficulties in mother-infant relationship and pronounced risk of puerperal depression.

Many features in listening and playing music have something to do in bonding together in societies. Lullabies are good example of communication between parent and infant.

There has been some trials about music therapy and pregnancy but not systematic randomized trials about listening to music and its influence on pain experience, length of delivery or complications of delivery. Music has a relaxing influence on human beings and we assume that it has a positive influence on pregnant women also.

We try to find out if active listening to music has any influence on physical and mental wellbeing of pregnant women or is there any influence on fear of childbirth, outcome of delivery or mother-baby relationship.

Pregnant women referred to the outpatient clinic because of fear of childbirth have also normal appointments with obstetrician and/or midwife as needed and participating this trial has no influence on those appointments.


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • fear of childbirth in arms 1 and 2,
  • nulliparous in arms 3 and 4

Exclusion Criteria:

  • not able to answer the questionnaires
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01687907

Contact: Assi Sten, MD +358504284700,
Contact: Terhi Saisto, MD,PhD

Helsinki University Central Hospital Recruiting
Helsinki, HUS, Finland, 00029
Contact: Assi Sten, MD    +358504284700,   
Sponsors and Collaborators
Helsinki University Central Hospital
Study Director: Terhi Saisto, MD,PhD Helsinki University Central Hospital
Principal Investigator: Assi Sten, MD Helsinki University Central Hospital
  More Information

Responsible Party: Assi Sten, Principal investigator, Helsinki University Central Hospital Identifier: NCT01687907     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 18/2.9.2009, 178/13/03/03/2009
Study First Received: September 10, 2012
Last Updated: September 15, 2012

Keywords provided by Helsinki University Central Hospital:
fear of childbirth
outcome of delivery
mother-baby relationship processed this record on May 22, 2017