Literature review on stress and the rugby union

For the last 20 years Lynne has combined her commitment to high quality research with her passion for applied work and learning and teaching. However, I am also interested in factors associated with the development and performance of high level sport performers.

Literature review on stress and the rugby union

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Background The physical impacts of elite sport participation have been well documented; however, there is comparatively less research on the mental health and psychological wellbeing of elite athletes.

Results The search yielded a total of records. Following double screening, 60 studies were included. The findings suggested that elite athletes experience a broadly comparable risk of high-prevalence mental disorders i. Evidence regarding other mental health domains i. Furthermore, there is a lack of intervention-based research on this topic.

Conclusion The evidence base regarding the mental health and wellbeing of elite athletes is limited by a paucity of high-quality, systematic studies. Nonetheless, the research demonstrates that this population is vulnerable to a range of mental health problems including substance misusewhich may be related to both sporting factors e.

More high-quality epidemiological and intervention studies are needed to inform optimal strategies to identify and respond to player mental health needs.

Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article doi: Key Points The evidence base regarding the mental health and wellbeing of elite athletes is limited by a paucity of high-quality, systematic studies, including intervention trials. On the basis of current evidence, elite athletes appear to experience a broadly comparable risk of high-prevalence mental disorders relative to the general population.

While the importance of elite athlete mental health is gaining increasing attention, targeted, disorder-specific models of care are yet to be established for this group. There is scope for such models to capitalise on early-intervention principles and establish cross-discipline collaboration.

There is comparatively less research on, but growing interest in, the mental health and psychological wellbeing of elite-level athletes [ 1 — 3 ].

The prevalence of diagnosable psychiatric disorders in this population remains a matter of debate [ 4 ]; however, notions that elite athletes are devoid of mental health problems have been increasingly scrutinised by sports medicine practitioners [ 5 ]. The intense mental and physical demands placed on elite athletes are a unique aspect of a sporting career, and these may increase their susceptibility to certain mental health problems and risk-taking behaviours [ 9 ].

Furthermore, the peak competitive years for elite athletes [ 10 ] tend to overlap with the peak age for the risk of onset of mental disorders [ 1112 ].

The ways by which athletes appraise and cope with these stressors can be a powerful determinant of the impact the stressors have on both their mental health and their sporting success [ 18 ]. Athletes tend not to seek support for mental health problems, for reasons such as stigma, lack of understanding about mental health and its potential influence on performance, and the perception of help seeking as a sign of weakness [ 1219 ].

While there have been efforts to disseminate sport-related mental health findings in order to advance the prevention, identification and early treatment of psychopathology in elite athletes, there are suggestions that some sporting governing bodies continue to minimise the significance of mental ill-health in this population [ 19 ].

This has sobering implications if elite athletes within such organisations are not provided with access to timely or adequate mental health care, or do not feel that the culture of the sporting organisation is such that they can even raise their mental health concerns.

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While it is well established that physical activity has a positive effect on mental health [ 67 ], a review has found that intense physical activity performed at the elite athlete level might instead compromise mental wellbeing, increasing symptoms of anxiety and depression through overtraining, injury and burnout [ 8 ].

Some, though not all, research suggests that this population has an increased risk of mental health problems, including eating disorders [ 21 ] and suicide [ 22 ].

Literature review on stress and the rugby union

Emerging research suggests that retired elite athletes may be at particularly elevated risk of mental ill-health [ 24 ], corresponding to both low rates of formal athlete mental health screening processes [ 25 ] and player perceptions of inadequate availability of mental health support [ 26 ].

Given the early-stage state of sports psychiatry and its research base, the current delivery of mental health care for elite athletes might not take into account sport-related factors that potentially influence vulnerability to mental health problems, nor diagnostic or treatment issues that may be unique to this population [ 419 ].

Developing a comprehensive understanding of the mental health and psychological wellbeing specific to elite athletes has the potential to advance models of care and management of this population, which may, in turn, facilitate performance gains.

Literature review on stress and the rugby union

Such an understanding is required to provide guidance for sport practitioners—including coaches, medical staff and sport psychologists—in developing the coping abilities of elite athletes and, in turn, improving their emotional wellbeing [ 20 ]. Objective The utility of systematic reviews to synthesise research on discrete topics and identify gaps in knowledge is well established; however, to date, there have been no such reviews of the mental health and psychological wellbeing of elite athletes.

The objective of this review was to synthesise the growing evidence base regarding the incidence and nature of mental ill-health including substance use and psychological wellbeing among elite-level athletes in order to identify gaps that future research should prioritise, and inform strategies or guidelines to advance the detection and management of mental ill-health in this population.

Study Inclusion Three researchers independently assessed the eligibility of each retrieved record on the basis of the title and abstract.

If the information was unclear, the full-text article was screened.


All included studies were subsequently re-screened i. The included studies were required to meet the following inclusion criteria:An organizational stress review: Conceptual and theoretical issues in competitive sport.

D Fletcher, S Hanton, SD Mellalieu Psychological skills usage and the competitive anxiety response as a function of skill level in rugby union. R Neil, SD Mellalieu, S Hanton.

Journal of sports science & medicine 5 (3), Literature reviews in. Last month, during orientation week James Connolly stood up in front of first-year students and told them he had suffered from depression and anxiety.

It was a very public declaration about a. Rugby is a popular contact sport worldwide. Collisions and tackles during matches and practices often lead to traumatic injuries of the shoulder. This review reports on the epidemiology of injuries, type of lesions and treatment of shoulder injuries, risk factors, such as player position, and return.

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Scotland was also the location of two of the most important literary magazines of the era, The Edinburgh Review (founded in ) and Blackwood's Magazine (founded in ), which significantly influenced the development of British literature and drama in the era of Romanticism.

the South African Rugby Union and an extraordinary lecturer in the Department of Sports Medicine, University of Concussion in Rugby Literature Review 2 and as an essential ‘final stress’ test, the athlete must be subjected to a series of graded exercise sessions, increasing in severity, before being.

Edith Cowan University Research Online Theses: Doctorates and Masters Theses Training load quantification in professional Australian basketball and the use of the reactive.

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