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Musicians and Physicians----A Comparison of Psychosocial Strain Patterns and Resources

Edgar Voltmer, Ingolf Schauer, Harry Schroder, Claudia Spahn
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 23 Number 4: Page 164 (December 2008)

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Abstract: Objectives: This study examined the behavior and experience patterns of orchestra musicians of different age groups and compared them with those of physicians. Health-relevant risk factors and resources should be identified. Methods: Professional orchestra musicians and physicians, at the beginning of their careers, were surveyed with the questionnaire Work-related Behavior and Experience Pattern (AVEM). Results from 238 musicians and 344 physicians could be analyzed. Results: Healthy behavior and experience patterns were found in about 60% of musicians. The healthiest pattern G was found to be much higher in musicians than in physicians (39% vs 17% in the group <35 yrs, and 27% vs 16% in the 35-49 yr group). For 21% and 27% of the musicians (vs 14% and 10% of physicians), it was a pattern of overexertion. The relation of resignation and a burnout-related behavior pattern was almost twice as high in physicians (24% and 32%) than in musicians (17% and 14%). At the single dimensions level, regarding professional commitment, resistance toward stress, and emotional well-being, there were also significant differences. Conclusions: Musicians and physicians differ significantly in work-related behavior and experience patterns. Specific interventions of health promotion should prevent the resulting strain and risk for illness that already commented in the course of this study.

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