Background: Musicians who play string instruments are affected more by musculoskeletal injuries when compared to other instrument playing groups. Musculoskeletal problems are commonly found in the upper extremities and trunk. Several risk factors such as gender, practice hours and instrument played are associated with the prevalence and distribution of musculoskeletal problems among string instrumentalists.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, distribution, severity and risk factors for musculoskeletal problems among string instrumentalists.
Method: A cross-sectional study design using both online and paper-based questionnaires were used to collect data from string instrumentalists playing in both amateur and professional orchestras in South Africa.
Results: A total of 114 string instrumentalists participated in the study, of which 86 (77%) reported problems in one or more anatomic regions while 39 (35%) were currently experiencing musculoskeletal problems that affected their performance. The trunk and both shoulders were the most commonly affected body regions. The majority of the participants reported the severity of the complaints as mild to moderate with aching, soreness, tingling and fatigue being the most commonly used descriptors of the symptoms of playing-related musculoskeletal problems.
Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the prevalence of musculoskeletal problems that affect performance is high among string instrumentalists in South Africa. An evaluation of associated risk factors with the aim of reducing injuries may be important in improving performance.
Aim: To investigate the facilitators and barriers to attaining a postgraduate physiotherapy degree in South Africa.
Methods: A quantitative, cross-sectional design using an internet-based survey was employed. The population of the study included all qualified physiotherapists who had completed community service and who were on the South African Society of Physiotherapy e-mailing list at the time of the study.
Results: In all, 425 valid responses were received. The study participants were predominantly white women with a mean age of 36.9 and the majority were working in private practice. A total of 20.5% of respondents had completed a master’s or doctoral degree in physiotherapy, while a further 13% of respondents were registered for a postgraduate degree in physiotherapy at the time of the study. Study participants who had obtained a postgraduate degree identified the same main barriers (namely cost/lack of financial support, family commitments and lack of time) and the same main facilitators (namely gaining of expertise, fulfilment of a personal goal and improvement of patient care) as participants who had not obtained a postgraduate degree. Participants who had not obtained a postgraduate degree were significantly more likely (p < 0.05) to report concerns regarding their own ability and a lack of motivation as barriers to further study.
Conclusion: South African physiotherapists with and without a postgraduate degree reported common facilitators and barriers to pursuing postgraduate studies. In order to ensure that a greater number and diversity of physiotherapists see postgraduate studies as a worthwhile career option, stakeholders in health and education in both the South African public and private sectors need to be engaged to limit the barriers to postgraduate study and seek novel methods of making postgraduate study a more attractive option from a personal development and career perspective.