Musician's dystonia and comorbid anxiety: Two sides of one coin?

Leonie Enders, June T. Spector, Eckart Altenmüller, Alexander Schmidt, Christine Klein, Hans Christian Jabusch*

*Corresponding author for this work
25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Psychological abnormalities, including anxiety, have been observed in patients with musician's dystonia (MD). It is unclear if these conditions develop prior to MD or if they are psychoreactive phenomena. Methods: Psychological conditions were studied in 44 professional musicians with MD, 45 healthy musicians, and 44 healthy nonmusicians using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). Results: Musicians with MD had significantly higher STAI state and trait anxiety scores than healthy musicians (P = .009 and P = .012, respectively) and nonmusicians (P = .013 and P = .001, respectively) and significantly higher NEO-FFI neuroticism scores than healthy musicians (P = .018) and nonmusicians (P = .001). Duration of dystonia did not correlate with anxiety or neuroticism scores. Conclusions: Musicians with MD display increased levels of anxiety and neuroticism. The lack of correlation between anxiety and the duration of dystonia suggests that anxiety may not be a psychoreactive phenomenon and is consistent with the hypothesis that anxiety and MD share a common pathophysiological mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)539-542
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 15.02.2011


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