Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Health Problems in Conservatoire Students: A Retrospective Study Focusing on Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders and Mental Health [MPPA Open Access]

Suze Steemers, Rogier M. van Rijn, Marienke van Middelkoop, Sita M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra, Janine H. Stubbe
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 35 Number 4: Page 214 (December 2020)

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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To gain insight into the prevalence and characteristics of physical health problems and mental health problems in first-, second- and third-year conservatoire students of the classical music department. Also, differences in mental health and general health were investigated between students with playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs) and students without PRMDs. METHODS: Eighty-nine classical music students of Codarts Rotterdam, University of the Arts, were asked to complete a questionnaire targeting PRMDs (components derived from Musculoskeletal Pain Intensity and Interference Questionnaire for Musicians, MPIIQM), mental health (Mental Health Inventory-5), and self-rated general health (SF-1 from Short Form health survey SF-12). RESULTS: The response rate was 52% (n=46). Of all participants, 17.8% (n=8) had experienced PRMDs in the past 12 months and 45.7% (n=21) of the students reported poor mental health (MHI-5<60). Students experiencing PRMDs in the past 12 months reported poorer general health compared to students without PRMDs (43.8 vs 67.1 [range 0-100], p=0.012). No significant difference was found between the groups with regard to mental health (62.0 vs 66.5 [range 0-100], p=0.522). CONCLUSION: The burden of PRMD complaints in this population of conservatoire students seems relatively low. However, the number of students facing mental problems in this population is a cause for concern. Conservatoires should focus on the subject of mental health in their curricula to increase more awareness and prevent mental problems. To investigate possible causality between PRMDs and general health, prospective studies are needed.

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