Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

Subject Categories

Occupational therapists -- United States -- Attitudes; Musicians


Researchers have extensively explored the lives of professional musicians, and the high prevalence of experienced physical injuries and psychological stressors. However, limited research has been published about the experiences of college musicians. The purpose of this survey design research study was to gain insight into the impact of the perceived psychosocial performance related symptoms (PPRS) experienced by college student musicians on their occupational engagement. An online, anonymous survey was administered to 570 college musicians at a small college in the Northeastern United States. The contents of the 21 survey questions and scales were designed with information gathered from a review of the available literature, the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, and feedback from faculty experts and music alumni. The survey questions and scales investigated the impact of PPRS on college musicians, by examining the demographic makeup of this population, the prevalence of various PPRS, their impact on occupational engagement and well being, and the ways college musicians manage their symptoms. Results indicated that college musicians have a high prevalence of PPRS; most reported having at least 1 PPRS, and the average reported experiencing 7.11 PPRS. High stress, experienced by approximately 83% of the participants, was one of many factors that significantly contributed to amount of PPRS college musicians reported, their perceived abilities to manage their symptoms, and their level of difficulty with occupational engagement. In addition, 40% of participants noted that their PPRS had an impact on their ability to perform music. Occupational therapists could potentially address the negative impact of PPRS on engagement in meaningful occupations, through collaboration with music professors to provide education about coping strategies, symptom management, prevention, or time management strategies.



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