Mental health difficulties among professional jockeys : A narrative review

King, Lewis and Cullen, Sarah Jane and McGoldrick, Adrian and Pugh, Jennifer and Warrington, Giles and Woods, Gary and Losty, Ciara (2021) Mental health difficulties among professional jockeys : A narrative review. BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine, 7 (2). ISSN 2055-7647

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Introduction Emerging academic literature and high-profile disclosures of mental health difficulties and mental illness from current and former professional jockeys suggest that further exploration of the mental health of jockeys is required. To date, a comprehensive review of jockeys' mental health has yet to be conducted. Objectives To examine the existing literature related to jockeys' mental health, including the prevalence of symptoms associated with mental health difficulties and help-seeking. Design A narrative review of the literature was conducted with articles screened from inception until January 2021. Results Sixteen studies were included in the narrative review. Studies covered a range of mental health difficulties which included mood (depression), anxiety, distress, disordered eating and substance misuse. Rates of help-seeking among jockeys were also explored. Results indicated that jockeys reported higher levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms compared with other elite athletes. Substance misuse, in particular adverse alcohol use, also appears greater among jockeys than other elite athletes. Distress symptoms appear comparable with other elite athletes. Risk factors for mental health difficulties included injury, perceived stress, athlete burnout, career dissatisfaction and the contemplation of retirement. Weight-making negatively impacts jockeys' mood and attitudes towards eating, with lower competitive riding weights associated with more disordered eating attitudes. Moreover, help-seeking from mental health professionals appears low. Conclusion The review identifies a high prevalence of symptoms of mental health difficulties among professional jockeys. Applied recommendations and future research considerations are proposed throughout the review article.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board for funding the ongoing research project exploring jockeys' mental health. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Author(s) (or their employer(s). Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2732
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Depositing User: Admin SSL
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2022 23:07
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2023 19:15

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