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Identification of Risk Factors for Musicians in Catalonia (Spain)

Jaume Roset-Llobet, Dolors Rosinés-Cubells, Josep M. Saló-Orfila
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 15 Number 4: Page 167 (December 2000)

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Abstract: The present study analyzes the results from 1,639 questionnaires returned by Catalonian musicians from music schools, conservatories, orchestras, associations of professional musicians, and sundry other musical groups. The objective was to identify the principal risk factors associated with the appearance of health problems caused by the musicians' occupations. The most noteworthy results were that 77.9% of the respondents have or have had some occupation-related health problem during their playing careers, and 37.3% of these have had technique impairment. The musculoskeletal system was the most frequently involved area (87.7% of the affected respondents). Risk factors identified include age, grade, dedication, professional status, changes in routine, and the instrument played (especially percussion, brass, and strings). In contrast to other studies, no relationship was discovered between gender or dominant hand and higher risk. The areas of the body most affected were the upper extremities and the neck. There is some indication in the data that the problems in males may be related to pathologies produced by overuse'strain; while those experienced by females are linked more with tension'posture. The conclusion reached is that, in spite of there being common factors, each community of musicians, each with its specific social, employment, and educational characteristics, presents a distinct pathological model, which makes the epidemiological data obtained in any study difficult to extrapolate to other communities.

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