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385 A comparative study of musculoskeletal symptoms and work- or study-related impact for professional and pre-professional musicians
  1. Jessica Stanhope,
  2. Philip Weinstein,
  3. Rebecca Tooher,
  4. Dino Pisaniello
  1. The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia


Introduction Musculoskeletal symptoms are common in musicians, but little is known of the work- or study-related impacts, nor how they compare with other groups. The aim of this study was to compare professional musicians and pre-professional musicians (university music students), with a reference group, regarding the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and their impact.

Methods A questionnaire survey was distributed to university music students and professional musicians, as well as non-music university staff and students (the reference group). Ache, pain and discomfort in the previous 12 months were determined using a modified Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire, as well as the work- and study-related impact of these symptoms. Descriptive statistics were reported, and comparisons were made adjusting for age and gender. A 5% level of significance was used.

Result Symptom prevalence was high in both groups (86% for musicians and 91% for the reference group), principally in the neck, shoulder and lower back regions. After adjusting for age and gender, symptoms in the wrist/hand region were more common for musicians (OR 1.55, 95% CI: 1.12 to 2.15), and less common in the lower back (OR 0.69, 95% CI: 0.50 to 0.95), hip/thigh (OR 0.45, 95% CI: 0.31 to 0.68), knee (OR 0.45, 95% CI: 0.31 to 0.66), and ankle/foot (OR 0.40, 95% CI: 0.27 to 0.58) when compared with the reference group.

Musicians were more likely to make changes to their work or study (OR 2.08, 95% CI: 1.27 to 3.39), or take leave from work or study (OR 1.71, 95% CI: 1.12 to 2.60) because of their musculoskeletal symptoms, when compared with the reference group.

Discussion Musculoskeletal symptoms were common in both groups, with musicians more likely to experience wrist/hand symptoms. Musicians’ were more likely to experience an impact from musculoskeletal symptoms on their work or study. Implications will be discussed.

  • Performing arts
  • pain
  • prevalence

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