Kathryn Halsted, OTD, MS, OTR/L, CPAM; Kristin Biggins OTD, OTR/L, CHT, CLT, PYT; Kimberly Davis OTD, MS, OTR/L
Musicians are a distinct population with a high rate of developing musculoskeletal and neurological disorders affecting their ability to participate in music-based occupations. These injuries negatively affect the musician’s health and well-being in physical, financial, psychosocial, and emotional dimensions. Given music’s complex and integrated role in the musicians’ life, treatment must be multi-dimensional, considering aspects of the person, the type of instrument, environment, context, and social obligations. Occupational therapy providers are uniquely qualified to treat musicians because of their focuse on holistic, occupation-based, and client-centered care. This manuscript describes the role of occupational therapy in this client population based on the best available evidence. It discusses the literature regarding the upper-extremity health challenges in musicians and the associated physical and psychosocial risk factors. Furthermore, the manuscript elucidates the foundational elements of occupational therapy in relation to musician-clients supporting this profession’s profound role in musician health care. In addition, the manuscript employs the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance model and the Occupational Adaptation frame of reference to promote an occupation-based and client-centered approach to musician-client care. With this information, occupational therapy providers will recognize the importance of client-centered and evidence-based care in this population and their role in caring for musicians with hand and upper extremity disorders.
Halsted, K. S., Biggins, K., & Davis, K. (2024). When Music Becomes Me: Occupational Therapy’s Role in Caring for Upper Extremity Disorders in Musicians. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 12(1), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.2064