Psychosocial Work Aspects, Stress and Musculoskeletal Pain Among Musicians. A Systematic Review in Search of Correlates and Predictors of Playing-Related Pain

Work. 2016 Jun 16;54(3):657-68. doi: 10.3233/WOR-162323.


Background: Musicians face numerous psychosocial and physical demands at work resulting in high prevalence of musculoskeletal problems. Unlike physical risks, little is known about psychosocial work factors influencing such health problems in this particular group.

Objective: The paper aimed to identify psychosocial work demands resulting in musculoskeletal problems among musicians.

Methods: A systematic review was undertaken to find data linking psychosocial work demands or stress with musculoskeletal disorders among musicians.

Results: The exploration of databases resulted in nine research studies linking psychosocial aspects of work or stress with musculoskeletal problems among musicians. The analyzed studies linked psychosocial aspects with musculoskeletal problems in three ways - showing proportions of people indicating particular causes of pain, indicating correlations between these variables or performing regression analysis showing psychosocial predictors of musculoskeletal pain.

Conclusions: Only a few studies have undertaken the issue of psychosocial risk factors for musculoskeletal problems among musicians. The results revealed that some psychosocial aspects of work, e.g. long hours at work, work content, high job demands, low control/influence, lack of social support, were related to musculoskeletal pain, however, the methods and results were inconsistent. The extant studies employed variety of definitions of psychosocial aspects that hindered the possibility for consistent conclusions. Basing on those conclusions, future directions were offered.

Keywords: Work demands; health problems; occupational diseases; stressors; work-related stress.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / etiology*
  • Music*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Health
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Work Schedule Tolerance
  • Workload
  • Workplace / psychology*