Mental health management of elite athletes during COVID-19: a narrative review and recommendations.

Reardon, Claudia L, Bindra, Abhinav, Blauwet, Cheri, Budgett, Richard, Campriani, Niccolo, Currie, Alan, Gouttebarge, Vincent, McDuff, David, Mountjoy, Margo, Purcell, Rosemary, Putukian, Margot, Rice, Simon M and Hainline, Brian (2020) Mental health management of elite athletes during COVID-19: a narrative review and recommendations. British journal of sports medicine. ISSN 1473-0480

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Abstract

Elite athletes suffer many mental health symptoms and disorders at rates equivalent to or exceeding those of the general population. COVID-19 has created new strains on elite athletes, thus potentially increasing their vulnerability to mental health symptoms. This manuscript serves as a narrative review of the impact of the pandemic on management of those symptoms in elite athletes and ensuing recommendations to guide that management. It specifically addresses psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and higher levels of care. Within the realm of psychotherapy, crisis counselling might be indicated. Individual, couple/family and group psychotherapy modalities all may be helpful during the pandemic, with novel content and means of delivery. Regarding pharmacotherapy for mental health symptoms and disorders, some important aspects of management have changed during the pandemic, particularly for certain classes of medication including stimulants, medications for bipolar and psychotic disorders, antidepressants and medications for substance use disorders. Providers must consider when in-person management (eg, for physical examination, laboratory testing) or higher levels of care (eg, for crisis stabilisation) is necessary, despite potential risk of viral exposure during the pandemic. Management ultimately should continue to follow general principles of quality health care with some flexibility. Finally, the current pandemic provides an important opportunity for research on new methods of providing mental health care for athletes, and consideration for whether these new methods should extend beyond the pandemic. [Abstract copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.]

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router ** History: accepted 28-08-2020.
Uncontrolled Keywords: athlete, mental, psychiatry, psychology, treatment
Divisions: Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Nursing and Health Sciences > Department of Sport and Excercise Sciences
SWORD Depositor: Publication Router
Depositing User: Publication Router
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2020 14:58
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2020 15:00
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/12670
ORCID for Claudia L Reardon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1767-1500
ORCID for Alan Currie: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5617-4868
ORCID for Vincent Gouttebarge: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0126-4177
ORCID for David McDuff: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4088-3920
ORCID for Margo Mountjoy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8604-2014
ORCID for Margot Putukian: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1478-8068
ORCID for Brian Hainline: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0233-2434

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