MENTAL HEALTH SYMPTOMS IN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL

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Feature / Vincent Gouttebarge & Gino Kerkhoffs

In professional football, most of the epidemiological studies have been directed towards the physical health of players, principally towards the occurrence of musculoskeletal injuries and more recently their prevention. By contrast, scientific information about the prevalence of mental health symptoms among active or former professional footballers remains limited. This is surprising because (i) anecdotal reports of active or former professional footballers with mental health symptoms have been released in the media for many years, and (ii) professional footballers are (cumulatively) exposed during and after their career to specific and non-specific stressors that might lead to mental health symptoms.

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