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Health attitudes, preventive behavior, and playing-related health problems among music students

Claudia Spahn, Bernhard Richter, Ina Zschocke
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 17 Number 1: Page 22 (March 2002)

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Abstract: The goal of the present study was to survey music students regarding their health attitudes, their use of body-oriented training as a measure of preventive behavior, and their playing-related symptoms and consultation for these symptoms with health professionals. In the framework of a cross-sectional study, the music students at the Freiburg Conservatory were investigated by means of questionnaires. One hundred ninety-seven students participated and were evaluated. It was shown that more students believe that health can be actively influenced by one's own behavior than have a fatalistic, passive attitude toward their health. One third of the music students use body-oriented training'increasingly during their studies. The close connection of this phenomenon with the presence of playing-related problems, and the fact that only a very small number of music students indicating no physical problems use a body-oriented training method, suggests that body-oriented training was not practiced for preventive reasons, but was motivated by a need for therapy. Two thirds of the music students stated that they had suffered at least once from playing-related problems; half of the music students felt psychologically affected by such difficulties. Half of the musicians had sought professional help due to playing-related health problems. All in all, it must be concluded that there is minimal consciousness regarding questions of health problems, so that few music students have taken preventive measures up to the present time. Therefore, preventive courses should be offered in order to inculcate health consciousness that would enhance the music students' motivation for proactive health-promoting behavior.

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