Pain-related and performance anxiety and their contribution to pain in music students: a pilot study
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Submission date: 2014-07-30
Final revision date: 2014-10-09
Acceptance date: 2014-10-09
Online publication date: 2014-12-04
Publication date: 2014-12-04
Health Psychology Report 2015;3(1):59–68
Pain complaints are common among musicians, whose occupation is highly demanding on both a physical and a psychological level. The purpose of the present study was to better understand the severity of musculoskeletal pain in orchestra musicians by measuring the potential contributions of biological (medical diagnosis), psychosocial (age, gender, instrument, practice and exercising history, and occupational satisfaction), and psychological (pain-related anxiety, performance anxiety, and affect) variables.

Participants and procedure
Data were collected from 59 music students playing in a symphonic orchestra. Univariate analyses were performed to assess differences in biological, psychosocial, and psychological predictors, using the presence or absence of pain as the dependent variable. Regression analyses were performed to develop a model of variance to explain the severity of pain.

The results revealed lower occupational satisfaction to be associated with the presence of pain. However, a greater proportion of variance (31%) in pain severity was explained by pain-related anxiety combined with performance anxiety. Thus, the model that would best explain playing-related pain in musicians would need to focus mainly on psychological variables, namely pain-related and performance anxiety.

Further investigation is needed to determine how treatment of musculoskeletal pain in musicians should address these psychological variables.