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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-35

Axis-I psychiatric morbidity in a sample of Egyptian competitive athletes

Department of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University Hospitals, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Walaa M Sabry
Lecturer of Psychiatry, MD in Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1105.180267

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Background Competitive sport environment puts athletes under a significant amount of psychological burden and stress. Despite the great effort and recent interest in athletic achievements, studies on the prevalence of mental health disorders in athletes are still lacking. Aim This study aimed to provide an insight into the prevalence of different psychiatric morbidities in a sample of Egyptian competitive athletes and to identify the association of psychiatric morbidity prevalence with the athlete's sex, weekly training hours, sport type, and sport injury as a unique experience facing the athletes. Participants and methods A total of 101 competitive athletes were recruited from some of the sporting clubs in Cairo and Giza by using a stratified random sampling method. They were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I) diagnoses. Results SCID-I showed that 31.6% of the participants had current Axis-I psychiatric diagnosis, whereas 34.7% of them reported a history of past psychiatric morbidity. Phobic and adjustment disorders were the most common current psychiatric disorders among athletes. Depressive disorder not otherwise specified and dysthymia were encountered more in female athletes, and substance use was more common in their male counterparts. Combat players had the highest rate of adjustment disorder (48%), whereas the power games athletes had the highest rate of drug abuse (12%). Significant physical injury during the past year was associated with high rates of dysthymia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia. Conclusion Athletes in Egypt showed among them a high rate of Axis-I psychiatric diagnoses, which could not be ignored and necessitates professional mental health attention for early detection and intervention.

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