Prevalence and associated factors of playing-related musculoskeletal disorders among music students in Europe. Baseline findings from the Risk of Music Students (RISMUS) longitudinal multicentre study
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Cruder, C., Barbero, M., Koufaki, P., Soldini, E. & Gleeson, N. (2020) Prevalence and associated factors of playing-related musculoskeletal disorders among music students in Europe. Baseline findings from the Risk of Music Students (RISMUS) longitudinal multicentre study. PLoS ONE 15(12):e0242660.
Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions among professional musicians and music students are frequent and may have significant physical and psychosocial consequences on their lives and/or on their playing abilities. The Risk of Music Students (RISMUS) research project was set up in 2018 to longitudinally identify factors associated with increased risk of playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs) in a large sample of music students enrolled in pan-European institutions. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to describe the prevalence of playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs) in this novel population at baseline of the RISMUS project. A further goal was to begin to identify variables that might be associated with the self-reported presence of PRMDs among music students. Eight hundred and fifty students from fifty-six conservatories and music universities in Europe completed a web-based questionnaire on lifestyle and physical activity participation levels, musical practice habits, health history and PRMDs, psychological distress, perfectionism and fatigue. A total of 560 (65%) out of 850 participants self-reported a positive history of painful MSK conditions in the last 12 months, 408 (48%) of whom self-reported PRMDs. Results showed that coming from West Europe, being a first- or a second-year Masters student, having more years of experience and higher rates of perceived exertion after 45 minutes of practice without breaks were factors significantly associated with self-reported presence of PRMDs. According to the authors’ knowledge, a large-scale multicentre study investigating prevalence and associated factors for PRMDs among music students at different stages of their education (from Pre-college to Masters levels) has not been conducted before. The high prevalence of PRMDs among music students, especially those studying at university-level, has been confirmed in this study and associated factors have been identified, highlighting the need for relevant targeted interventions as well as effective prevention and treatment strategies.