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Prevalence of Playing-related Musculoskeletal Symptoms and Disorders in Children Learning Instrumental Music

Sonia Ranelli, Leon Straker, Anne Smith
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 23 Number 4: Page 178 (December 2008)

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Abstract: have long been identified with adults, but little is known about their development during childhood. What evidence does exist has not adequately considered risk factors, in particular the effects of gender and age. A cross-sectional questionnaire study gathered data from 731 children enrolled in the instrumental music programs of government primary and secondary schools in Perth, Western Australia. This study, the first in a series investigating risk factors, established the prevalence of playing-related musculoskeletal problems, both symptoms (PRMS) and disorders (PRMD), and the association with gender and age. In this group, 67% of children reported ever experiencing PRMS, with 56% reporting symptoms at least monthly. Females were more likely (odds ratio [OR] 1.5, p = 0.03) to experience symptoms and older children were more likely to have ever experienced symptoms (p < 0.001). Thirty percent reported the experience of a PRMD, being unable to play their instrument as usual. Females (OR 1.5, p = 0.035) and older children (p = 0.001) again were more likely to report the experience of a disorder. For children having reported the experience of a PRMS within the last month, 5% took medication to relieve the problem and 4% visited a health professional to seek advice for the problem.

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