Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Meyers

Second Advisor

Shirley Lukens

Third Advisor

Dr. Judy Feinberg

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study was conducted to add to the body of knowledge concerning musicians' musculoskeletal problems and to investigate whether an occupational therapy specialty is warranted for this field of medicine. An original questionnaire was constructed and administered to the members of three symphony orchestras. Three primary sections of the questionnaire address participants' demographic and occupational characteristics, symptom and treatment experiences, and opinions on medical care. Descriptive data are reported for all sections of the questionnaire. Particular attention is given to the effectiveness of traditional occupational and physical· therapy treatments. Data are provided regarding the relationships between variables: (a) certain personal characteristics and experiencing musculoskeletal problems, and (b) having sought medical treatment and opinions on medical care. Results indicate that musicians prefer medical professionals who have special training in music or music medicine. The conclusion is made that a medical professional who does not have this training should be successful in treating musicians if this professional does possess a certain sensitivity to the musicians' special conditions. Occupational therapy is an appropriate profession to provide this beneficial individualistic, holistic approach to care.