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Longitudinal Study of music Therapy´s Effectiveness for Premature infants and their caregivers (LongSTEP): International randomized trial

Longitudinal Study of music Therapy´s Effectiveness for Premature infants and their caregivers (LongSTEP): International randomized trial

Led by the Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre (GAMUT), this project aims to evaluate the effect of music therapy on bonding between preterm infants and their parents during neonatal hospitalization and in home and municipal settings following discharge.

Improved survival rates for extremely premature infants are accompanied by growing concern over long-term complications, poorer quality of life, and lasting psychological impact on caregivers and the infant/parent dyad. Promoting parental well-being and improving quality of relation between preterm infants and parents during the postnatal period may promote bonding, a critical pre-requisite for subsequent formation of healthy attachment, and may contribute to better long-term outcomes for both infants and parents. Coaching parents in the use of music therapy with their infant can promote infant regulation and decrease parental stress during parent/infant interactions.

LongSTEP evaluates the impact of music therapy on parent/infant bond, parent well-being and infant development, outcomes that are of high relevance to users. This project examines the effectiveness and feasibility of implementing music therapy within the Norwegian, European and international context, bridging the transition from hospital to home.

Music therapy will consist of a relatively high level of parental involvement, with the music therapist providing support and coaching to enable parents to use their own voices and resources to promote developmentally-appropriate, co-regulated interactions with their infants.

LongSTEP fills a critical gap in knowledge by providing music therapy over a longer term from hospitalization through the first six months of life, and by assessing long-term outcomes of music therapy for both infant and parent during the first year of the infant’s life. The outcomes of the project will be directly applicable to clinical practice development in the five countries involved including Norway, a country that is just beginning to develop practice within this area of specialization.

Scientific Advisory Committee:

  • Deanna Hanson-Abromeit (University of Kansas, USA)
  • Friederike Haslbeck (University Hospitals of Zurich and Bern, Switzerland)
  • Małgorzata Lipowska (University of Gdansk, Poland)
  • Joanne V. Loewy (The Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine, Mount Sinai Beth Israel and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA)
  • Renate Nussberger (Kantonsspital Baden, Switzerland)
  • Helen Shoemark (Temple University, USA)
  • Alexandra Ullsten (Central Hospital Karlstad, Sweden)

Project facts


Longitudinal Study of music Therapy´s Effectiveness for Premature infants and their caregivers (LongSTEP): International randomized trial




07.06.18 - 01.04.26



Total budget

18.553.000 NOK

Research group

Research Topics


Research Council of Norway (RCN)



Project members

Claire Ghetti
Cochavit Elefant
Bente Johanne Vederhus
Anne Lee Solevåg
Mark Ettenberger
Heidi Glosli
Tora Söderström Gaden


Regionalt kunnskapssenter for barn og unge (RBKU) Vest Fakultetet for kunst, musikk og design, Universitetet i Bergen Haukeland Universitetssykehus, Bergen Akershus Universitetssykehus, Oslo Oslo Universitetssykehus, Oslo King's College, London Szpital Miejski w Rudzie Śląskiej Sp. Z o.o, Ruda Śląska, Poland Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland Institute of Psychology, University of Gdańsk, Poland Meir Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel School of Creative Art Therapy, University of Haifa, Israel Hospital Universitario Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia SONO – Centro de Musicoterapia, Bogotá, Colombia Hospital Fernández, Buenos Aires, Argentina Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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