To describe high-level footballers’ levels and changes in mental health and well-being throughout a 8-week period of lockdown and restricted training during the COVID-19 pandemic.MethodOne-hundred and one players belonging to four teams (women's and men's, first and U19 teams) of the same Italian Serie A club participated in the study. Data were collected through an online questionnaire, and administered at 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 weeks after the start of the lockdown . Well-being, positive and negative affects measurements were examined.ResultsAcross the five measures, 36% of players reported clinical levels in depressive symptoms (scores ≤50) on at least one occasion. Thirteen percent of the players reported clinical levels on > 50% of the occasions. There was a decrease in depressive symptoms and negative affects over the period. No change was found in positive affects.ConclusionsHigh number of players reported clinical levels of depressive symptoms compared to what was found previously in high-level athletes. The number decrease during the 8-week period. A similar trend was found for negative affects.Despite a higher prevalence in depressive symptoms earlier during lockdown, this improved as players progressed towards fewer restrictions.
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Ivarsson, A., McCall, A., Mutch, S., Giuliani, A., Bassetto, R. & Fanchini, M. 2021, 'Mental health and well-being during COVID-19 lockdown: A survey case report of high-level male and female players of an Italian Serie A football club', Science and Medicine in Football, 24 Aug 2021. https://doi.org/10.1080/24733938.2021.1962540