Playing-related musculoskeletal problems among professional orchestra musicians in Scotland: a prevalence study using a validated instrument, the Musculoskeletal Pain Intensity and Interference Questionnaire for Musicians (MPIIQM)

P Berque*, H Gray, A McFadyen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Many epidemiological surveys on playing-related musculoskeletal problems (PRMPs) have been carried out on professional musicians, but none have evaluated or confirmed the psychometric properties of the instruments that were used. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of PRMPs among professional orchestra musicians and to gather information on pain intensity and pain interference on function and psychosocial variables, using a self-report instrument developed and validated specifically for a population of professional orchestra musicians. METHODS: Out of 183 professional orchestra players, 101 took part in the study (55% response rate) and completed the Musculoskeletal Pain Intensity and Interference Questionnaire for Musicians (MPIIQM). RESULTS: Lifetime prevalence of PRMPs was 77.2%, 1-year prevalence was 45.5%, and point prevalence was 36.6%. Of the PRMP group, 43% reported having pain in three or more locations, most commonly the right upper limb, neck, and left forearm and elbow. However, predominant sites of PRMPs varied between instrument groups. The mean pain intensity score for the PRMP group was 12.4±7.63 (out of 40). The mean pain interference score was 15.2±12.39 (out of 50), increasing significantly with the number of reported pain locations (F=3.009, p=0.044). CONCLUSION: This study confirms that musculoskeletal complaints are common in elite professional musicians and that the use of an operational definition and a validated self-report instrument allows for more accurate and meaningful estimates of pain prevalence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Problems of Performing Artists
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016



  • playing-related musculoskeletal problems
  • musicians
  • orchestra players
  • study
  • Musculoskeletal Pain Intensity and Interference Questionnaire for Musicians

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