Ergonomics of tuba playing. Survey on complaints and coping strategies using focus groups
Although tubists describe ailments, their causes have not yet been investigated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to use focus groups to assess the ergonomics of the tuba, musculoskeletal complaints of professional tubists, their preventive or rehabilitative coping strategies and the impact of the instrument on the musician.
This study forms part of a project with an overall goal to measure and digitize the human-tuba system and uses a survey to record typical patterns of stress. To answer the study question it was considered appropriate to apply a phenomenological design with an idealistic perspective. Focus groups were chosen to collect data, whereas knowledge mapping technics were used to evaluate the focus groups. One woman and 11 men were recruited. Saturation was reached after three focus groups. From all of the transcripts 7 main categories and 7 subcategories could be extracted: Individual factors, performance as a goal (physical and emotional, mental performance), external factors (concert, social), instrument (influenceable factors, tuba construction, suggestions for improvement), physical aids, physical problems, coping strategies and other factors. Both the high impact of playing a tuba and the importance of finding solutions to adapt the tuba to the tubist could be shown.
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