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Impact of the Groningen exercise therapy for symphony orchestra musicians program on perceived physical competence and playing related musculoskeletal disorders of professional musicians

Mathieu de Greef, Ruud van Wijck, Koop Reynders, Joost Toussaint, Rike Hesseling
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 18 Number 4: Page 156 (December 2003)

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Abstract: The goal of the Groningen Exercise Therapy for Symphony Orchestra Musicians (GETSOM) program is to change the limited repetitive motion and playing habits of musicians and stimulate their motion repertoire to reduce the effects of physical overload. The research was motivated directly by the high rate of absences due to illness in a regional symphony orchestra resulting from playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs). The secondary preventive effects of the GETSOM program on perceived physical competence and PRMDs were studied in a clinical trial in which 45 professional musicians of a symphony orchestra were included and randomized to an experimental (n = 17) and a control group (n = 28). To decrease PRMDs, the GETSOM program focuses on enhancing the perceived physical competence of musicians. The program pays special attention to relaxation, postural exercises for the shoulder, neck, and lower back; and exercises to enhance physical workload and deal with mental stress. Participation in the 15-week GETSOM program has shown a statistically significant (p < 0.05) and clinically relevant (d > 0.20) increase in perceived physical competence and a decrease in PRMDs in the experimental group compared with the control group. According to a multiple regression analysis, 45% of the decrease in PRMDs was explained by an increase in physical competence. There is evidence that the GETSOM program is efficacious in promoting changes in perceived physical competence and a decrease in PRMDs.

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