This research is classified primarily as a cross-sectional descriptive study, and secondly as a retrospective analysis, with the objective of exploring the magnitude of physical disability in elderly musicians who attended the Geriatric Clinic at the Julio Diaz Hospital of Rehabilitation over a period of 5 years from 2006 to 2010, both inclusive (N = 222), and their behavior in terms of socio-demographic and biological variables. The analysis utilized informal interviews directed at obtaining general patient data (age, sex, personal pathological history, professional aspects), as well as the following instruments: Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) to evaluate the cognitive sphere, the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) to evaluate the physical sphere, and the Survey of Risk Factors for Disability, to evaluate risk factors.
The research revealed an overall prevalence of physical disability of 32.88%; we found that with age, the presence of non-communicable chronic illness, years as a professional musician, and low level of education, the prevalence of physical disability increased. Musicians who play stringed instruments, piano and woodwinds, according to our investigation, suffer the most disability, with singers showing the lowest prevalence of disability. This is the first study of prevalence and risk factors of physical disability in elderly Cuban musicians, and it constitutes the first step towards more ambitious future studies that will allow us to find new scientific evidence of this problem.