Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Experiences of Professional Orchestral Musicians with Chronic Conditions

Nancy J. Dillinger
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 12 Number 4: Page 122 (December 1997)

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Abstract: The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the process and strategies of coping of orchestral musicians with chronic conditions. Narratives are used to illustrate the musicians' illness experiences. Nine orchestral musicians participated in tape-recorded semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed using a phenomenologic framework. Narratives were coded into two themes, the coping process and coping strategies. The two themes are discussed together and divided into three categories: losing control, searching, and gaining perspective. Two themes emerged from the coping strategies: a need for control and a need for support. All of the musicians went through a coping process and used coping strategies in order to achieve a level of control. It is unclear what effect personality or lifestyle has on the process of coping.

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