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University woodwind students’ experiences with playing-related injuries and their management: a pilot study

Authors Stanhope J, Milanese S, Grimmer K

Received 8 June 2013

Accepted for publication 12 November 2013

Published 7 March 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 133—148


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Jessica Stanhope,1 Steve Milanese,2 Karen Grimmer1

1International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, 2School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Background: This study aimed to determine the experiences of university classical woodwind students with playing-related injuries (PRIs), the impact of these PRIs, the management selected by students with PRIs, and the perceived effectiveness of this management.
Materials and methods: All classical woodwind students enrolled in vocational education training or undergraduate courses at a university were sent an email with a link to an online survey. Only those aged 18 years and older were eligible. The survey obtained data regarding demographic information, details of PRI experienced (location, if they lasted for more than 3 months, and if they were current), and the impact of these, as well as the types of management strategies tried and their perceived effectiveness. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and comments were reported descriptively.
Results: Fourteen students returned the survey; however, one of these only completed the questions regarding demographics, and was therefore excluded. A total of 62% of participants reported having experienced a PRI. Common locations for PRI were the wrist/hand/fingers, lower back, and neck. Reducing practice time by half and missing playing commitments were the most commonly reported consequences of PRIs. Playing-related management strategies were most frequently trialed, with these and passive nonplaying-related strategies perceived to be the most effective.
Conclusion: PRIs are common in this population, with a range of consequences reported. While it is encouraging that students had tried and found effective playing-related management strategies, active nonplaying-related strategies should be encouraged, particularly in preference to passive nonplaying-related strategies. This was a small-scale study, and the results are only applicable to the institution investigated; therefore, similar larger-scale studies are recommended to determine the generalizability of these findings.

Keywords: woodwind, injury, pain, prevalence, management, treatment, musician

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