AAU logo

Dana Yakobson

Dana Yakobson

Dana Yakobson



  • M.A in Music Therapy, department for music therapy, the school for creative arts therapies, University of Haifa, Israel. 2011-2013
  • NICU- Music  therapist, Trained grandparent of the" First Sounds:  Rhythm, Breath and Lullabies model,  the "Louis Armstrong music therapy program, Mount- Sinai Beth Israel medical center, New- York, NY, USA. 2014       
  • B.A in Social Work , University of Tel Aviv, Israel. 2007-2010
  • PhD student  at the Department of Music and Music Therapy (Aalborg University) since 15th. of August  2016.
  • Music therapist,  Communicative kindergarten for children with autism spectrum disorder , city of Ra'anana , Israel (since 2015)


Parent-infant interaction during Kangaroo care: the contribution of family-centered music therapy to premature-infants' autonomic stability and parental anxiety reduction


PhD. Prof. Bolette Daniels Beck – Doctoral Program of Music Therapy, Aalborg University, Denmark

Prof. Dr. Christian Gold, Doctoral Program of Music Therapy, Aalborg University;  Grieg Academy, Music Therapy Research Center (GAMUT), Uni Health, Bergen, Norway

Prof. Dr. Cochavit Elefant, Head of Graduate School of Creative Arts Therapies, University of Haifa,  Israel


Premature infants and their parents, who spend weeks to months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, (NICU) are prone to experience high levels of anxiety and/or trauma due to the preterm birth and its implications,  thus leading to continuous stress reactions, affecting their well being, the parent-infant relationship and the infant's medical state outcome. Attending to both infants' emotional and physiological needs of sensory regulation, stability and comfort, as well as parents' support and inclusion, can lead to an improvement in the premature infants' medical state and the parent- infant bonding process. Two well established interventions in the neonatal care aimed to address the varied needs of premature- families  are Kangaroo care (KC) and Music Therapy (MT).  The current study will investigate the combination of the two modalities  with 50 premature infants and their parents, in a mix-methods design. The bi-modal intervention aims to provide premature-infants with immediate physical and emotional support and to reduce anxiety for both the infant and his/her parents, by initiating the use of the parents' voice, preferred melodies and lullabies, and the sounds of the intrauterine environment.  Additionally, to assist the premature-family to create meaningful interactional experiences facilitated through music therapy techniques of song creation, and entrainment to the infant's breath and movement.                                                                                                                                                          

Study design and  Procedures:

An embedded mixed methods design with concurrent qualitative and quantitative data collection and analyses, independent of each other. The quantitative part is aimed to investigate measured effects of Music therapy during Kangaroo care treatment, in 50 premature-infants and their parents. The chosen design is " Clusters randomization trial", in which each cluster will investigate the effects of either MT+KC, or KC alone. The families will participate in two controlled sessions during their hospitalization in the NICU, and an additional follow-up session after three months. The qualitative part will focus on the subjective experience of the parents, in order to present their unique stories and standpoints regarding the intervention. It will include semi-structured interviews followed by a "Grounded Theory" analysis of coding and content organization.

Quantitative research questions:                         

  1. What are the effects of combined MT+ KC on preterm- infants' autonomic nervous system compared to KC alone? (demonstrated by length of stay in a parasympathetic state, physiological vital signs and behavioral states).
  2. What is the effect of MT+ KC on preterm- parents' anxiety level compared to KC alone (evaluated by a validated anxiety questionnaire, STAI)?
  3. What are the differences between mothers' and fathers' anxiety levels, during  MT+ KC and in KC alone? 
  4. What is the effect of MT+ KC on parent-infant attachment processes compared to KC alone?

Qualitative Research questions: 

  1. In which ways will the combination of MT during KC serve and/or influence the parent?
  2. In which ways will the MT intervention assist parents in the interactions and bonding process with their infant?