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Neuromuscular Re-Education Programs for Musicians with Focal Hand Dystonia: A Systematic Review

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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of neuromuscular re-education programs on reducing abnormal movements during instrument play in musicians with focal hand dystonia (FHD). METHODS: A systematic literature search of published articles was performed. Databases searched included MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, OTseeker, and the Cochrane Library. Additional articles were identified from reference lists. Studies meeting inclusion criteria were independently assessed by the two coauthors for eligibility and quality of methods. Study data were summarized in a critical appraisal chart. RESULTS: Nine studies met the inclusion criteria for review, including 1 non-randomized two-group study, 6 single-group repeated measures studies, and 2 single-subject studies. The studied neuromuscular re-education programs included constraint-induced therapy plus motor control retraining, sensory motor retuning, learning- based sensorimotor training, and slow-down exercise. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this review indicate there is moderate evidence to support the effectiveness of neuromuscular re-education programs on reducing abnormal movements during instrument play in musicians with FHD. However, additional research should evaluate the effectiveness of neuromuscular re-education programs using reliable and valid outcome measures, as well as study methods which provide higher levels of evidence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2018

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  • Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsĀ is the first clinical medical journal devoted to the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of medical and psychological disorders related to the performing arts. Original peer-reviewed research papers cover topics including neurologic disorders, musculoskeletal conditions, voice and hearing disorders, anxieties, stress, substance abuse, and other health issues related to actors, dancers, singers, musicians, and other performers.
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