Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Review Article
How do we assess musicians’ musculoskeletal symptoms?: a review of outcomes and tools used
Author information

2019 Volume 57 Issue 4 Pages 454-494


Recent reviews of musicians’ musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS) have reported heterogeneity in the outcomes reported and data collection tools used, making it difficult to compare and synthesise findings. The purpose of this present review was to improve the consistency of future research, by documenting the outcomes reported in recent studies of musicians’ MSS and the data collection tools used. All English language, peer-reviewed studies, published 2007–2016 that reported musicians’ self-reported MSS outcomes were identified. Details of the types of outcomes reported and the tools used were extracted, and synthesised descriptively. A range of MSS outcomes were reported, including MSS with a temporal relationship to activities performed, and the consequences of symptoms. Only 24% of studies used standardised questionnaires, with the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) being the most commonly used. To improve the homogeneity of outcomes and data collection tools when investigating musicians’ MSS, we recommend using the NMQ, where appropriate. Recall periods of 12-months and 7-d are the most appropriate for prevalence, and 7-d recall periods for ratings. Importantly, outcomes and the tools used to collect data should be reported in sufficient detail to ensure that the study can be replicated, critiqued, and accurately interpreted.

Information related to the author
© 2019 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
Previous article Next article