Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Self-Report Fatigue Management for Instrumental Musicians: A Delphi Survey

J. Matt McCrary, Eckart Altenmüller
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 35 Number 4: Page 208 (December 2020)

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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Mismanagement of fatigue and playing load have been consistently identified as risk factors for playing-related pain and injuries. Studies in sport demonstrate that fatigue management strategies can predict and prevent overuse syndromes and related injuries through consistent assessment of playing load and physical/psychological stress. Self-report strategies show particular responsiveness to both the short and long-term impacts of training. No equivalent fatigue management strategies exist for musicians. Establish key items and feasibility parameters to inform the development of a self-report fatigue management tool for musicians. METHODS: A working party of international experts in musicians¿ medicine was invited to complete a two-phase Delphi survey. In Phase I, working party members rated established items from sport (REST-Q subscales with demonstrated responsiveness to both acute and chronic training stresses) with respect to relevance and prospective utility for musicians. Members could also propose additional items and were asked to indicate a maximum feasible questionnaire length. In Phase II, working party members ranked top performing items from Phase I. Consensus best items were determined based on Phase II rankings. RESULTS: A 28-member working party was assembled (15 clinicians, 13 researchers). Of 20 researcher proposed items and 58 working party proposed items, 5 items met consensus criteria: I had pain; I had to play too much; I felt physically fit; I did not get enough sleep; I recovered well physically. A strong majority (89%) of working party members indicated that regular use of a fatigue questionnaire with up to 10 items is feasible. CONCLUSIONS: Key questionnaire items and feasibility parameters for a novel fatigue management tool for musicians are established. Future research in musicians is needed to validate study results and this novel fatigue management tool.

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