Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Interobserver reliability of general practice physiotherapists in rating aspects of the movement patterns of skilled violinists

Brownen J. Ackermann, Roger Adams
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 19 Number 1: Page 3 (March 2004)

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Abstract: In the music medicine literature, experienced clinicians recommend the visual observation of musicians performing on their instruments to identify movement patterns that potentially increase the risk of an injury. Visual assessment of functional task performance is a skill used clinically by many health care professionals to enhance decision-making regarding the best management and treatment strategies for a particular client. Little research exists, however, to identify whether consistent movement patterns would be identified during such a procedure and whether there are particular injury risk features that can be identified reliably by a group of practitioners. This study asked a group of experienced clinical physiotherapists to rate movement patterns of 30 skilled violinists performing a violin-playing task to evaluate whether similar scores would result. Results indicated that these therapists varied widely in their rating methods, and interrater reliability scores ranged from mostly poor to fair. These scores occurred regardless of the presence or absence of playing-related injuries in the violinists. A small sample of available intrarater scores showed better consistency, although still not of high reliability. Further research may indicate whether physiotherapists or health care practitioners experienced in observing a complex task such as violin playing would show greater interrater reliability in using such a scoring system.

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