A prospective cohort study on symptoms of common mental disorders among Dutch elite athletes
- Authors: Gouttebarge, Vincent , Jonkers, Ruud , Moen, Maarten , Verhagen, Evert , Wylleman, Paul , Kerkhoffs, Gino
- Date: 2017
- Type: Text , Journal article
- Relation: Physician and Sportsmedicine Vol. 45, no. 4 (2017), p. 426-432
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- Description: Objective: Scientific knowledge about symptoms of common mental disorders in elite sports is scarce. Consequently, the objectives of the study were to (i) establish the 12-month incidence of symptoms of common mental disorders (CMD; distress, anxiety/depression, sleep disturbance, adverse alcohol use, eating disorders) among Dutch elite athletes and (ii) explore their potential association with several stressors (being injured, recent life events, career dissatisfaction).Methods: A prospective cohort study with a 12-month follow-up period was conducted. The study used validated questionnaires to assess symptoms of common mental disorders (thus not clinically diagnosed) as well as several stressors; an electronic questionnaire was set up and repeatedly distributed.Results: A total of 203 elite athletes gave their written informed consent to participate in the study, from which 143 completed the 12-month follow-up period (follow-up rate of 70%). Incidence of symptoms of CMD ranged from 6% for adverse alcohol use to 57% for symptoms of anxiety/depression. Over the follow-up period, around 17% of the participants reported two simultaneous symptoms of CMD, and around 19% reported three simultaneous symptoms of CMD. Inferences between some stressors and symptoms of CMD were found but none of the associations were statistically significant.Conclusions: Substantial 12-month incidence rates of symptoms of CMD (self-reported and not clinically diagnosed) were found among Dutch elite athletes (especially for anxiety/depression), appearing similar to the ones found among athletes from other sports disciplines and the Dutch general population. Also, inferences between some stressors and symptoms of CMD were found but none of the associations were statistically significant. Supportive and preventive measures directed towards symptoms of CMD should be developed to improve awareness and psychological resilience of athletes, which would likely improve their performance and quality-of-life.
A 12-month prospective cohort study of symptoms of common mental disorders among professional rugby players
- Authors: Gouttebarge, Vincent , Hopley, Philip , Kerkhoffs, Gino , Verhagen, Evert , Viljoen, Wayne , Wylleman, Paul , Lambert, Mike
- Date: 2018
- Type: Text , Journal article
- Relation: European Journal of Sport Science Vol. 18, no. 7 (2018), p. 1004-1012
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- Description: The primary aims were to determine the 12-month incidence (and comorbidity) of symptoms of common mental disorders (CMD) among male professional rugby players and to explore their association with potential stressors. A secondary aim was to explore the view of male professional rugby players about the consequences of symptoms of CMD and related medical support/needs. An observational prospective cohort study with three measurements over a 12-month period was conducted among male professional rugby players from several countries. Symptoms of CMD (distress, anxiety/depression, sleep disturbance, eating disorders and adverse alcohol use) and stressors (adverse life events, rugby career dissatisfaction) were assessed through validated questionnaires. A total of 595 players (mean age of 26 years; mean career duration of 6 years) were enrolled, of which 333 completed the follow-up period. The incidence of symptoms of CMD were: 11% for distress, 28% for anxiety/depression, 12% for sleep disturbance, 11% for eating disorders and 22% for adverse alcohol use (13% for two simultaneous symptoms of CMD). Professional rugby players reporting recent adverse life events or career dissatisfaction were more likely to report symptoms of CMD but statistically significant associations were not found. Around 95% of the participants stated that symptoms of CMD can negatively influence rugby performances, while 46% mentioned that specific support measures for players were not available in professional rugby. Supportive and preventive measures directed towards symptoms of CMD should be developed to improve not only awareness and psychological resilience of rugby players but also their rugby performance and quality-of-life. © 2018, © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.