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1- Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland , ingunnu@ru.is
2- Landspitali-The National University Hospital of Iceland, Iceland
3- Physical Activity, Physical Education, Sport and Health (PAPESH) Research Centre, Sports Science Department, School of Social Sciences, Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland
Abstract:   (598 Views)
Background. Increasingly, women are training and competing in mixed martial arts (MMA). Women are, however, hugely underrepresented in the research literature. Objectives. The purpose of this brief report was to assess concussion knowledge, mental health and attention-related errors among female MMA competitors and factors that might affect data quality when doing a study during a competition. Methods. Forty-one athletes participated at different stages (mean age 25.2±.5). Pre-fight, participants were asked about their concussion history, both before and after being given a definition. They answered questions about MMA background and completed the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, the General Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire-7, the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21, the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool-5 (also completed post-fight), and the Sustained Attention Response Task. Two weeks later, competitors were asked to answer mental health questionnaires and the concussion symptom scale again. Results. Mean years in MMA were 7.3±5.5. Before reading a concussion definition, 16.7% reported a concussion history, 30.6% reported a concussion history after reading the definition. The error score on the attention response task was 12.12±6.55. Pre-fight, the SCAT5 score was 9.0±8.6, post-fight it was 9.1±6.8, and two weeks later, 7.3±11.2. Scores on mental health scales were between 3.9-5.9±3.7-4.6 pre-fight and between 4.3-6.1±5.9-10 two weeks later. Conclusion. The change in concussion reporting indicates a lack of knowledge; scores on symptoms scales and attention test did not indicate problems. Factors affecting side-line evaluation included coaches' willingness to participate and the athletes' emotional state. Significant limitations of this study included possible language barriers. Therefore, results should be interpreted with caution.
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APPLICABLE REMARKS
  • The present findings indicate a lack of concussion knowledge among female MMA fighters competing in MMA. This is a concern as this group is at risk for head trauma. Coaches and organizations should consider implementing appropriate measures to make sure athletes have the appropriate information regarding concussion and head trauma. Present findings also include important information researchers should consider when doing a study during a competition. Researchers should get the coaches involved; a successful pre- and post-competition evaluation could depend on their involvement as well as on an international team of researchers with a varied linguistic background.

Type of Study: Original Article | Subject: Sport Psychology and its Related Branches
Received: 2020/11/26 | Accepted: 2021/01/12

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