Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 811 - 818

Research article
Symptoms of Common Mental Disorders in Professional Football (Soccer) Across Five European Countries
Vincent Gouttebarge1,2,3,4, , Frank J.G. Backx5, Haruhito Aoki6, Gino M.M.J. Kerkhoffs2,3,4
Author Information
1 World Players’ Union (FIFPro), Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
2 Academic Center for Evidence based Sports medicine (ACES), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam
3 Amsterdam Collaboration for Health & Safety in Sports (ACHSS), Academic Medical Center / VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5 Department of Rehabilitation, Nursing Science and Sports, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands
6 St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan

Vincent Gouttebarge
✉ Players’ Services, World Players’ Union (FIFPro), Scorpius 161, 2132 LR Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
Email: v.gouttebarge@fifpro.org
Publish Date
Received: 31-07-2015
Accepted: 08-10-2015
Published (online): 24-11-2015
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ABSTRACT

Evidence on the prevalence of symptoms related to distress, anxiety/depression or substance abuse/dependence, – typically referred to as symptoms of common mental disorders (CMD) – is lacking in European professional football (soccer). The aims of the present study were to investigate the prevalence of symptoms related to CMD (distress, anxiety/depression, sleeping disturbance, adverse alcohol behaviour, and adverse nutrition behaviour) in professional footballers from five European countries, and to explore associations of the outcome measures under study with life events and career dissatisfaction. A cross-sectional design was used. Questionnaires were distributed among professional footballers by the national players’ unions in Finland, France, Norway, Spain and Sweden. The highest prevalence of symptoms related to common mental disorders were 18% for distress (Sweden), 43% for anxiety/depression (Norway), 33% for sleeping disturbance (Spain), 17% for adverse alcohol behaviour (Finland), and 74% for adverse nutrition behaviour (Norway). In Finland, France and Sweden, both life events and career dissatisfaction were associated with distress, anxiety/depression, adverse alcohol behaviour, and adverse nutrition behaviour. Results suggest the need for self-awareness in professional football about common mental disorders and a multidisciplinary approach by the medical team.

Key words: Professional football, mental disorders, life events, career dissatisfaction


           Key Points
  • The highest prevalence of symptoms related to common mental disorders were 18% for distress (Sweden), 43% for anxiety/depression (Norway), 33% for sleeping disturbance (Spain), 17% for adverse alcohol behaviour (Finland), and 74% for adverse nutrition behaviour (Norway).
  • In Finland, France and Sweden, both life events and career dissatisfaction were associated with distress, anxiety/depression, adverse alcohol behaviour, and adverse nutrition behaviour.
  • Our results suggest the need for self-awareness in professional football about common mental disorders and a multidisciplinary approach by the medical team.
  • Further research based on longitudinal design should be conducted in order to acquire an insight into the causal relationship between symptoms related to common mental disorders and risk factors.
 
 
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