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Mental health screening: severity and cut-off point sensitivity of the Athlete Psychological Strain Questionnaire in male and female elite athletes

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posted on 18.03.2020, 00:00 authored by Simon Rice, Lisa OliveLisa Olive, Vincent Gouttebarge, Alexandra G Parker, Patrick Clifton, Peter Harcourt, Michael Llyod, Alex Kountouris, Ben Smith, Beau Busch, Rosemary Purcell
Objectives: To examine the sensitivity/specificity of the Athlete Psychological Strain Questionnaire (APSQ) in both male and female elite athletes, and also assess internal consistency and convergent/divergent validity, and determine discriminative validity relative to current injury status.

Methods: Data were provided by 1093 elite athletes (males n=1007; females n=84). Scale validity and reliability values were benchmarked against validated measures of general psychological distress and well-being. ROC curve analysis determined a range of optimal severity cut-points.

Results: Bias-corrected area under curve (AUC) values supported three APSQ cut-points for moderate (AUC=0.901), high (AUC=0.944) and very high (AUC=0.951) categories. APSQ total score Cronbach coefficients exceeded those observed for the Kessler 10 (K-10). Gender ×injury status interactions were observed for the APSQ total score and K-10, whereby injured female athletes reported higher scores relative to males and non-injured female counterparts.

Conclusion: By providing a range of cut-off scores identifying those scoring in the marginal and elevated ranges, the APSQ may better facilitate earlier identification for male and female elite athletes vulnerable to mental health symptoms and developing syndromes. Use of the APSQ may support sports medicine practitioners and allied health professionals to detect early mental ill health manifestations and facilitate timely management and ideally, remediation of symptoms.

History

Journal

BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine

Volume

6

Issue

1

Article number

e000712

Pagination

1 - 6

Publisher

BMJ

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

2398-9459

eISSN

2055-7647

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2020, The Authors