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New grant will fund research to investigate if music therapy can alleviate stress for new mothers

The study includes interviewing Black women who are pregnant or who have recently delivered a child to determine if music could be beneficial to pregnant and postpartum women.

Pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby includes many emotions for a woman from joy and happiness to unexpected stress. A new $25,000 grant from the Frontiers Clinical and Translational Science Institute will fund a study to help determine if music could play a role in alleviating stress, including stress related to discrimination, and if it could help pregnant and postpartum women.

The study title is “Exploring Life Course and Everyday Stressors in the Lives of Pregnant and Postpartum Women: The Role of Music Therapy as an Intervention Tool.”

The primary investigator is Michelle Redmond, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Population Health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. Co-investigators include Rebecca Lepping, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and Deanna Hanson-Abromeit, Ph.D., associate professor of music therapy and music education at the University of Kansas. The community partner for the study is Michelle Vann, Th.D., CEO and founder of Sistahs Can We Talk.

Redmond has a strong interest in women’s health and specifically looking at adverse health outcomes and how to improve them. As part of her research, she has been investigating how stress can impact women, especially African American women, and how stress, including discrimination stress, can cause negative birth outcomes.

Part of the study will include interviews to learn about women’s thoughts if they have considered music to help alleviate stress, the type of music they would listen to and if they think music could be a good intervention for them while they are pregnant.

“The literature we’ve reviewed leads us to believe there is a role music can play,” said Redmond. “We’re grateful to Frontiers for providing us this funding for our research.”

The study began Feb. 1, 2024, and will conclude on June 30, 2024.

Michelle Redmond portrait
Michelle Redmond, Ph.D.
Rebecca Lepping portrait
Rebecca Lepping, Ph.D.
Deanna Hanson-Abromeit portrait
Deanna Hanson-Abromeit, Ph.D.

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Neurology
Mailstop 2012
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-6970
Fax: 913-588-6965