year 9, Issue 4 (Winter 2021)                   Ann Appl Sport Sci 2021, 9(4): 0-0 | Back to browse issues page

XML Print

Download citation:
BibTeX | RIS | EndNote | Medlars | ProCite | Reference Manager | RefWorks
Send citation to:

Unnsteinsdottir Kristensen I, Kristjánsdóttir H, Jónsdóttir M K. Concussion History, Mental Health, and Attention-Related Errors among Female Amateur MMA Fighters at the 2019 IMMAF European Championship: A Descriptive Study. Ann Appl Sport Sci. 2021; 9 (4)
1- Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland ,
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:   (1402 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.
Full-Text [PDF 175 kb]   (668 Downloads)    
• 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: Brief Report | Subject: Sport Psychology and its Related Branches
Received: 2020/11/26 | Accepted: 2021/01/12 | Published: 2021/12/28 | ePublished: 2021/12/28

1. Alsarve D, Tjønndal A. 'The Nordic female fighter': Exploring women's participation in mixed martial arts in Norway and Sweden: Int Rev Sociol Sport [Internet]. 2019. Available from: [DOI:10.1177/1012690218822307]
2. Thomas RE, Thomas BC. Systematic review of injuries in mixed martial arts. Phys Sportsmed. 2018;46(2):155-167. [DOI:10.1080/00913847.2018.1430451] [PMID]
3. McGroarty NK, Brown SM, Mulcahey MK. Sport-Related Concussion in Female Athletes: A Systematic Review. Orthop J Sports Med. 2020;8(7):2325967120932306. [DOI:10.1177/2325967120932306] [PMID] [PMCID]
4. Heath CJ, Callahan JL. Self-reported concussion symptoms and training routines in mixed martial arts athletes. Res Sports Med. 2013;21(3):195-203. [DOI:10.1080/15438627.2013.792082] [PMID]
5. Follmer B, Dellagrana RA, Zehr EP. Head Trauma Exposure in Mixed Martial Arts Varies According to Sex and Weight Class. Sports Health. 2019;11(3):280-285. [DOI:10.1177/1941738119827966] [PMID] [PMCID]
6. Miarka B, Coswig V, Brito JC, Slimani M, Amtmann J, Vecchio FBD. Comparison of combat outcomes: technical and tactical analysis of female MMA. Int J Perform Anal Sport. 2016;16(2):539-552. [DOI:10.1080/24748668.2016.11868907]
7. McCrory P, Meeuwisse W, Dvorak J, Aubry M, Bailes J, Broglio S. Consensus statement on concussion in sport-the 5th international conference on concussion in sport held in Berlin, October 2016. Br J Sports Med. 2017;51(11):838-847.
8. Koerte IK, Lin AP, Willems A, Muehlmann M, Hufschmidt J, Coleman MJ, et al. A review of neuroimaging findings in repetitive brain trauma. Brain Pathol. 2015;25(3):318-349. [DOI:10.1111/bpa.12249] [PMID] [PMCID]
9. Seifert T. Neurologic Health in Combat Sports. Neurol Clin. 2017;35(3):523-535. [DOI:10.1016/j.ncl.2017.05.001]
10. Jónsdóttir MK, Kristófersdóttir KH, Runólfsdóttir S, Kristensen ISU, Sigurjonsdottir HA, Eggertsdottir Claessen. Concussion among female athletes in Iceland: Stress, depression, anxiety and quality of life. Press.Press.
11. Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB. The PHQ-9: validity of a brief depression severity measure. J Gen Intern Med. 2001;16(9):606-613. [DOI:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2001.016009606.x] [PMID] [PMCID]
12. Spitzer RL, Kroenke K, Williams JB, Lowe B. A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder: the GAD-7. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(10):1092-1097. [DOI:10.1001/archinte.166.10.1092] [PMID]
13. Lovibond SH, Lovibond PF. Manual for the Depression Anxiety & Stress Scales. Sidney Psychol Found. 1995;2. doi: 10.1037/t39835-000 [DOI:10.1037/t39835-000]
14. Robertson IH, Manly T, Andrade J, Baddeley BT, Yiend J. 'Oops!': Performance correlates of everyday attentional failures in traumatic brain injured and normal subjects. Neuropsychol. 1997;35(6):747-758. [DOI:10.1016/S0028-3932(97)00015-8]
15. Kristjansdottir H, Brynjarsdottir RM, Kristensen ISU, Sigurjonsdottir HA, Claessen LOE, Jonsdottir MK. Self-reported concussion history among Icelandic female athletes with and without a definition of concussion. Clin Neuropsychol. 2020;34(sup1):70-82. [DOI:10.1080/13854046.2020.1814873] [PMID]
16. Robbins CA, Daneshvar DH, Picano JD, Gavett BE, Baugh CM, Riley DO, et al. Self-reported concussion history: impact of providing a definition of concussion. Open Access J Sports Med. 2014;5:99-103. [DOI:10.2147/OAJSM.S58005] [PMID] [PMCID]
17. Carriere JS, Cheyne JA, Solman GJ, Smilek D. Age trends for failures of sustained attention. Psychol Aging. 2010;25(3):569-574. [DOI:10.1037/a0019363] [PMID]

Send email to the article author

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

© 2022 CC BY-NC 4.0 | Annals of Applied Sport Science

Designed & Developed by : Yektaweb