Study underway evaluating impact of music and movement on babies suffering from withdrawal

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MUNCIE, Ind.– An effort is underway to help soothe some of the  most vulnerable victims of the opioid crisis, newborn babies experiencing withdrawal, through a new study in Muncie is hoping to relive some of their pain.

“I saw the drug withdrawal you can hear the scream and so those symptoms really drew me to what can I do to help,” Hannah Fluhler, a new graduate of Ball State University said.

She also worked at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital where she saw the impact on the babies. So now a team of researchers in the hospitals neonatal intensive care unit are studying the impact of music and movement therapy on the newborns and the safety of it thanks to a fellowship.

“Any new tool we can use just helps my job so much more and helps me feel better about taking care of those withdrawal babies so any new research we can use is exciting to me,” nurse Gwendolyn Rook said.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every 15 minutes a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal.

The use of music and movement is already used by some hospitals.

“I think it definitely helps to soothe these babies, give them a diversion from what they’re going through physically soothe them,” NICU nurse Sara Smith at Community Hospital East said.

The hospital has added the use of music boxes and movement in its NICU.

“The hope of the study is to help these infants and to document in the research literature that this is a safe intervention for these newborns,” Fluhler said.

The study is underway right now.

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