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Treatment for mental health problems in athletes

Research project Mental health in athletes have gained interest among researchers and sport practitioners in the past decade. Although athletes’ mental health is receiving increasing attention, our knowledge of how to best care for athletes’ mental health is limited. How effective are psychotherapeutic interventions, such as Cognitive Behavior therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), in the sport context and what mechanisms of change can explain intervention effectiveness?

The purpose of the present project is to evaluate the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatments/interventions (e.g., CBT, ACT) in athletes and thereby increase our understanding of effective treatments/interventions for mental health in athletes. This will be done by offering psychotherapeutic treatments/interventions to athletes and examine the effectiveness of these interventions by using multiple N-of-1 studies to increase our understanding of how and why a certain intervention is effective.

Head of project

Rebecka Ekelund
Doctoral student
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2020-12-01 2025-12-01

Funding

Umeå University

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Psychology

Research area

Psychology, Sports and fitness sciences

Project description

Although the interest in athletes’ mental health has increased over the past decade, very few controlled studies on psychotherapeutic treatment or interventions for these problems have been conducted in athlete samples. Previous research has mainly focused on interventions for performance enhancement whereas research focused on established psychotherapeutic interventions (e.g., CBT and ACT) targeting mental health is lacking in the field of sport psychology. Given the lack of research on effective psychotherapeutic treatments/interventions in athletes, the purpose of the present project is to evaluate the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatments/interventions (e.g., CBT, ACT) in athletes and thereby increase our understanding of effective treatments/interventions for mental health in athletes.