A longitudinal investigation of the factors associated with increased RISk of playingrelated musculoskeletal disorders in MUsic students (RISMUS): A study protocol
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Cruder, C., Koufaki, P., Barbero, M., & Gleeson, N. (2019) A longitudinal investigation of the factors associated with increased RISk of playingrelated musculoskeletal disorders in MUsic students (RISMUS): A study protocol. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 20:64.
Background The achievement and improvement of skills in musical techniques to reach the highest levels of performance may expose music students to a wide range of playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs). In order to establish effective solutions for PRMDs and to develop future preventive measures, it is fundamental to firstly identify the main risk factors that play a significant role in the development of musculoskeletal conditions and symptoms. The aim of the study is to identify those factors associated with increased risk of PRMDs among music students. A further goal is to characterise this population and describe the clinical features of PRMDs, as well as to determine the evolving course of PRMDs in music students during their training.Methods One hundred and ninety schools have been invited to participate in this study, sixty of which have already confirmed officially their support for the investigation’s recruitment procedures, by means of a subsequent distribution of the link to a web-based questionnaire to their student groups (total potential student numbers available: n = 12,000 [based on ~ 200 students per school on average, and 60 volunteering schools]; expected number of students: n = 3000 [based on a 25% response rate from the 12,000 students attending the 60 volunteering schools]). The web-based questionnaire includes questions about any PRMD that students have experienced during their training, and different potential risk factors (i.e. lifestyle and physical activity, practice habits, behaviour toward prevention and health history, level of stress, perfectionism, fatigue and disability). Overall recurrence or new onsets of PRMDs will be assessed at 6 and 12 months after the first data collection to investigate and record the development of new incidents within a period of a year and to enable characterisation of the nature and the evolving course of PRMDs.Discussion To the best of our knowledge, no other longitudinal studies on risk factors for PRMDs among music students have been conducted so far. Therefore, this study can be considered as an opportunity to begin filling the gaps within current research in this field and to generate new knowledge within musical contexts in education and employment.