Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Health Care Services to Performing Artists: What Do the Artists Think?

Patricia A. Chandler Barbara Foster
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 14 Number 3: Page 133 (September 1999)

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Abstract: Within the performing arts medical specialty, providers are knowledgeable about medical problems unique to performing artists. However, outside this group, many specialty and primary care physicians appear to lack knowledge of medical problems common to performing artists. This pilot study was designed to explore these issues in more detail and identify trends for future studies. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to three groups of performing artists: Dance Aspen, Aspen Music School, and the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. The questionnaire asked the respondents about the types of providers they sought for health care, the respondents' satisfaction with the care received, and the knowledge of performing arts medicine the providers demonstrated. A comment section was included. Of 247 total respondents, 133 visited primary care providers, 101 visited specialists, and 120 visited nonphysicians for health care during the preceding year. Given the choice of being satisfied or dissatisfied with health care delivery, approximately 90% were satisfied with all their providers. Even so, 142 of the 245 (58%) respondents felt physicians needed more knowledge of performing arts medicine. The qualitative information obtained from this survey suggests specific areas of performing arts medicine in which physicians may need more awareness. These include acute and chronic musculoskeletal problems, injury prevention, the effect of medication on a singer's voice, and how to help the injured performer return quickly to full functional capacity. With this information, more extensive studies can be designed to provide data that can be used to improve the quality of health care given to performing artists, and to more effectively design educational programs for their health care providers

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