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WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary, international journal which publishes high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts covering the entire scope of the occupation of work. The journal's subtitle has been deliberately laid out: The first goal is the prevention of illness, injury, and disability. When this goal is not achievable, the attention focuses on assessment to design client-centered intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or controls that use scientific evidence to support best practice.
WORK occasionally publishes thematic issues, but in general, issues cover a wide range of topics such as ergonomic considerations with children, youth and students, the challenges facing an aging workforce, workplace violence, injury management, performing artists, ergonomic product evaluations, and the awareness of the political, cultural, and environmental determinants of health related to work.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, the founding editor, and her editorial board especially encourage the publication of research studies, clinical practice, case study reports, as well as personal narratives and critical reflections of lived work experiences (autoethnographic/autobiographic scholarship),
Sounding Board commentaries and
Speaking of Research articles which provide the foundation for better understanding research to facilitate knowledge dissemination.
Narrative Reflections on Occupational Transitions, a new column, is for persons who have successfully transitioned into, between, or out of occupations to tell their stories in a narrative form. With an internationally renowned editorial board,
WORK maintains high standards in the evaluation and publication of manuscripts. All manuscripts are reviewed expeditiously and published in a timely manner.
WORK prides itself on being an author-friendly journal.
WORK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015.
*WORK is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)* *WORK is endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA)* *WORK gives out the yearly Cheryl Bennett Best Paper Award*
Abstract: Objective: The flute is a highly popular instrument, yet little is known about the potential injury association with playing this instrument. Participants: Twenty flautists from a major music training institution volunteered to participate in this project, and had played the flute for a minimum of ten years. Methods: A specifically designed musicians' health questionnaire was used to determine injury rates in a group of skilled collegiate flute players majoring in music to examine self-reported perceptions of…performance-related musculoskeletal disorder causation and approaches to managing these conditions. Results: All except one player reported suffering from a performance-related musculoskeletal disorder, with pain present for longer than 3 months in two thirds of this group. The most common approach by the flautists was to take Alexander lessons rather than seeking health professional advice. Most attributed their symptoms to long hours of practice, poor posture and the presence of performance anxiety. Conclusions: Flautists in this sample reported high rates of performance-related musculoskeletal disorders with the majority having been present for longer than 3 months. The approach to management often did not involve consultation with a health professional qualified to diagnose musculoskeletal conditions.
Abstract: Objectives: Performing Arts Medicine (PAM) specializes in providing healthcare to performing artists. Participation in the performing arts can cause injury and impair performing artists' art and livelihood. While healthcare is often available for professionals, university-level students remain underserved. Therefore, our objective was to describe the successful development and implementation of the George Mason University university-level PAM program as a possible template for other institutions. Participants: Collaborations among the Athletic Training Education Program, the Department…of Dance, and the University Central Administration. Methods: An athletic trainer provided free healthcare services that included preventive care, acute emergency and non-emergency injury care, assessment and referral, and rehabilitation to the students. Results: Nearly 100 different injuries and 300 assessment and treatment healthcare sessions were provided in the first year of the program. Program benefits included improved healthcare for dancers, increased learning opportunities for students, research opportunities, and enhanced university recognition. Conclusions: The PAM program offers primary injury prevention by implementing performing artists specific interventions and secondary prevention to improve their health outcomes. Overall, we hope the program's success encourages other institutions to provide in-house healthcare to their students, eventually helping improve healthcare status of all university-level performing artists.
Abstract: Objective: Research and clinical experience have shown that musicians are at risk of acquiring playing-related injuries. This paper explores findings from a qualitative research study examining the lived experience of professional instrumental musicians with playing-related injuries, which has thus far been missing from the performing arts health literature. Methodology: This study employed a phenomenological methodology influenced by van Manen to examine the lived experiences of professional musicians with playing-related injuries.…Participants and Methods: Ten professional musicians in Ontario, Canada were interviewed about their experiences as musicians with playing-related injuries. Six of the participants later attended a focus group where preliminary findings were presented. Results: The findings demonstrate a need for education about risk and prevention of injuries that could be satisfied by healthcare professionals and music educators. Conclusions: The practice and training of healthcare professionals should include the "tactful" (van Manen) delivery of care for this important and vulnerable population.
Keywords: Playing-related injury, work, phenomenology, performing arts, health
Abstract: Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the inter-rater reliability of commonly used musculoskeletal screening components in a population of contemporary professional dancers. Participants: Study participants were 30 women from six contemporary dance companies between the ages of 18 and 32, with a mean age of 24, and Body Mass Index of 22.4. Methods: 101 items were assessed in the categories of Static Posture, the Beighton 9-Point Hypermobility Test, Flexibility, Strength, and Dynamic Posture,…based upon the Pilot 2006 Dance USA Annual Post-Hire Health Screen for Professional Dancers . Testing was non-ordered, using 2 of the 4 available testers, with variable assignment of the lead tester. Results: High percent agreement was found for the subcategories of hallux valgus, pelvic tilt, and forefoot alignment, flexor hallucis, iliopsoas, hip internal rotation flexed, external rotation extended, and soleus extensibility, composite Beighton, and for most measures within the dynamic posture category. Low to moderate percent agreement was found in the strength tests. Conclusion: Although this study demonstrated moderate to high percent agreement between raters, further test refinement is needed to improve the reliability of the measurement components.
Abstract: In the music profession, individuals often work under stress filled conditions. This is especially true for individuals making their living as performing musicians. Musical performance anxiety has been well documented in both students and professionals. For some, the experience may lead to a termination of what might otherwise remain a successful performing career. Humans are susceptible to anxiety and so the phenomenon of musical performance anxiety is not likely to disappear. Learning how to effectively deal…with musical performance anxiety is paramount for those in the performing arts. Entering a state of flow, in which there is total absorption in an activity, allows for the possiblity of any ensuing anxiety to become facilitative, rather than debilitative. This article will discuss several characteristics of flow, as defined by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, and provide practical applications for musical practice and performance in an attempt to counterbalance musical performance anxiety. Musicians will benefit from a closer examination of the elements of flow and means of incorporating these elements into practice and performance.
Abstract: Objective: To examine the Big Five personality traits and performance anxiety in relation to marching arts satisfaction. Participants: Data were collected from 278 instrumentalists (i.e., brass players and percussionists) and color guard performers (e.g., dancers) representing six world class drum and bugle corps. Method: Participants completed three measures: the Adolescent Personal Style Inventory was used to measure the Big Five personality factors: Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, and Openness; the Performance Anxiety…Questionnaire – used to assess somatic and cognitive symptoms of performance anxiety; and the Marching Arts Satisfaction – used to assess for the physical, social, and contextual environments of drum and bugle corps. Results: Correlation and multiple regression analyses revealed concurrent relationships between the Big Five and performance anxiety with satisfaction. A linear combination of the Big Five traits and Performance Anxiety accounted for 36% of the total variance in satisfaction, with Extraversion, Emotional Stability, and Performance Anxiety contributing significant unique variance. Conclusions: The findings of the present study suggest that performers who are extraverted, conscientious, and effective at managing general stress – and performance stress in particular – find a greater sense of satisfaction with their participation in world class drum and bugle corps.
Keywords: Big five personality, job satisfaction, performance anxiety, performing arts
Abstract: Objective: This study asserts that a combination of environmental and physical factors influence the child pianist's risk for developing a music related injury. Participants: 26 participants (10 piano students, 10 parents, and 6 piano teachers) were included in this study. Piano students were ages 5 to 11 and currently enrolled in piano lessons. Methods: Three questionnaires addressed the factors affecting the participant groups (children, parents, and piano teachers). Participants completed one questionnaire…about the factors contributing to the development of music related injuries in child pianists. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results. Results: None of the student participants had pain, discomfort, or a history of music related injuries. The majority of parents and teachers reported that the lighting was the most important environmental factor affecting students' playing in the piano lesson. 70% of parents reported that the presence of family members most greatly affected students' practicing at home. 100% of the teachers and parents reported that the most important physical factors contributing to students' injury-free playing were playing with proper technique and learning effective practice strategies. All parents and students who were taking piano lessons in their homes reported the most satisfaction with their piano lesson environment. Conclusion: The results of this study do not support a relationship between environmental or physical factors and the presence of pain, discomfort, or music related injuries in students.
Keywords: Musicians, musculoskeletal discomfort, music related pain, pianists, risk factors
Abstract: Professional musicians require a disciplined and balanced regime of practise and performance to enable them to cope with the physical challenges of their chosen instrument and to reduce the risk of work- related injury. If practise or performance strategies are suddenly changed, permanent damage may occur even in a player with a mature, well-established technique. The trombone presents unique physical challenges which are heightened by recent developments in instrumental design as well as by orchestral working…conditions. This study presents the experiences of a professional orchestral trombonist who worked as a principal player in a UK orchestra until his performing career was cut short by a performance related injury. His personal approach to practise is discussed in the context of the physical and professional challenges associated with contemporary orchestral practices. The case study demonstrates the importance of considering the interplay between psychological and physical factors in the development and treatment of injury in musicians.
Abstract: Objectives: The musician complaining of chronic pain commonly presents with subtle and complicated findings. Joint hypermobility is common in these individuals. The diagnosis of joint hypermobility syndrome (HMS) does not merely involve joint laxity, but connective tissue impairment throughout the body as well as perhaps involving the neurological system. As the aging process gradually reduces joint laxity, chronic pain and various impairments may linger. This report investigates HMS as it relates to a case study involving…a musician suffering with chronic joint pain and HMS. Methods: Literature review and case description. Results: HMS involves more than just joint laxity and may be the cause of various chronic pain dysfunctions. The prognosis for recovery from HMS is poor, but the education and psychological aspect is extremely beneficial to the patient's health and well-being. Conclusions: This case report identified a musician with CUWP and HMS. Joint hypermobility syndrome does not merely involve joint laxity, but involves connective tissue impairment throughout the body as well as perhaps involving the body's neurological system. Joint hypermobility is common in musicians.
Keywords: Joint hypermobility, performing arts medicine, musican's health, wrist pain