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Use of psychotherapy and psychotropic medication among Norwegian musicians compared to the general workforce

21 Mar 2016

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Previous research has reported higher prevalence rates of anxiety and depression among musicians, compared to the general workforce. 

This study compared the use of psychotherapy and psychotropic medication with other major occupational groups, and expected to find higher use among musicians.

1,607 musicians from the Norwegian Musicians’ Union answered an online questionnaire about demographic characteristics, mental health, use of healthcare services and use of psychotropic medication.  They were compared to a 2,550 sample of the Norwegian workforce from the Norwegian survey of level of living.

Based on chi-square and logistic regression analysis, adjusted for age, sex, education, and cohabitation status, we found that musicians reported higher use of psychotherapy and psychotropic medication. 

Use of psychotherapy was reported most frequently among vocalists, while rock musicians reported the most widespread use of psychotropic medication.

Overall, musicians had three-fold higher odds of use of psychotherapy and 50% higher odds of use of psychotropic medication compared to the general workforce.  This is consistent with previous findings indicating high rates of sleep-difficulties and psychological distress among musicians.

The results underline the importance of investigating both the content and quality of services provided.

 

J. Vaag, Publ. 2016