Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Occupational Diseases of Professional Orchestra Musicians from Northern Portugal: A Descriptive Study

Cláudia Maria Sousa, Jorge Pereira Machado, Henry Johannes Greten, Daniela Coimbra
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 31 Number 1: Page 8 (March 2016)

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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Owing to repetitive movements and a very stressful and competitive lifestyle, musicians are a group that may be prone to suffer from occupational diseases. According to the literature, musicians are affected mainly by two types of occupational diseases: music performance anxiety (MPA) and playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs). The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of the most common complaints affecting musicians in the three professional orchestras from northern Portugal. METHODS: Professional orchestra musicians (n=112) from the three main professional orchestras from northern Portugal were individually interviewed about their physical and psychological complaints. RESULTS: Results indicated that 94% of musicians interviewed self-reported at least one working-related problem. PRMDs were the most common conditions, affecting 84.8% of musicians. The most affected areas were the shoulder and the cervical and lumbar regions. MPA was reported by 13.2% of musicians. CONCLUSION: The present work covers about 50% of all Portuguese professional orchestra musicians. It raises awareness of the importance of focusing on the high prevalence of professional diseases among musicians.

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