Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Popular Musician Responses to Mental Health Treatment

Lloyd Berg, Benjamin King, Jessica Koenig, Roger Lowell McRoberts
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 33 Number 2: Page 124 (June 2018)

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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Popular (i.e., nonclassical) musicians have higher rates of mental health disorders and mental health service utilization than the general population. Little is known, however, about how popular musicians perceive mental health interventions in terms of overall satisfaction and therapeutic benefit. METHODS: An online client satisfaction survey was sent to all musicians and family members who received mental health services through a nonprofit mental health organization in Austin, Texas, between July 2014 and June 2015 (n=628). RESULTS: 260 individuals (41.4%) responded to the survey, of whom 94% (n=244) were musicians. A majority of musician respondents were male (60%) and white (82%). 87% received counseling, 32% received psychiatric medication treatment, and 8% received addiction recovery services. 97% of musicians (205/211) rated their counselor as 'very good' or 'excellent,' 88% (64/79) rated their psychiatric providers as 'very good' or 'excellent,' and 94% (17/19) rated their addiction recovery specialists as 'very good' or 'excellent' (nonsignificant between all categories, p>0.05). 89% of musicians receiving counseling, 84% receiving psychiatric medication treatment, and 95% receiving addiction recovery services agreed or strongly agreed that their symptoms and overall functioning improved as a result of their treatment (nonsignificant between all categories, p>0.05). CONCLUSION: Popular musicians express strong provider satisfaction and overall benefit when mental health interventions are accessible, affordable, and delivered by professionals familiar with their concerns. More research is needed to understand the unique psychosocial stresses popular musicians face to inform treatment planning for this high-risk, underserved population.

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