Occupational Diseases of Professional Orchestra Musicians from Northern Portugal


BACKGROUND: Owing to repetitive movements and a very stressful and competitive lifestyle, musicians are a group that may be prone to suffer from occupational diseases. According to the literature, musicians are affected mainly by two types of occupational diseases: music performance anxiety (MPA) and playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs). The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of the most common complaints affecting musicians in the three professional orchestras from northern Portugal. METHODS: Professional orchestra musicians (n=112) from the three main professional orchestras from northern Portugal were individually interviewed about their physical and psychological complaints. RESULTS: Results indicated that 94% of musicians interviewed self-reported at least one working-related problem. PRMDs were the most common conditions, affecting 84.8% of musicians. The most affected areas were the shoulder and the cervical and lumbar regions. MPA was reported by 13.2% of musicians. CONCLUSION: The present work covers about 50% of all Portuguese professional orchestra musicians. It raises awareness of the importance of focusing on the high prevalence of professional diseases among musicians.


Cláudia Maria Sousa, Jorge Pereira Machado, Henry Johannes Greten, Daniela Coimbra

Year 2016
Type Journal Article with peer review
Publication Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 31(1)
Pages 8–12
ISBN / ISSN ISBN: 978-0-9758862-2-9 | ISBN: 978-0-9758862-5-0
Language English