Performing arts medicine: A research model for South Africa
Performing Arts Medicine has developed into a highly specialised field over the past three decades. The Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA) has been the leading proponent of this unique and innovative field with ground-breaking research studies, symposia, conferences and journals dedicated specifically to the medical problems of performing artists. Similar to sports medicine, performing arts medicine caters specifically for the medical problems of performing artists including musicians and dancers. In South Africa there is a tremendous lack of knowledge of the field and unlike our international counterparts, we do not have specialised clinical settings that cater for the medical problems of performing artists. There is also a tremendous lack of research on performance-related medical problems of performing artists in South Africa. Accordingly the purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the field of performing arts medicine, highlight some of the significant findings from recent research studies and present a model for conducting research into the field of performing arts medicine. It is hoped that this research model will lead to increased research on the medical problems of performing artists in South Africa.