A survey on the significance of psychological and psychiatric assessment among qualified African football referees

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PurposeThe present study was carried out to investigate why psychiatric and psychological examinations are neglected during periodical medical examinations for football referees.Patients and methodsA total of 42 certified male referees were randomly selected from the Sports Medicine Specialized Center situated at Nasr City, Cairo Governorate, Egypt. All participants were registered at the African Confederation of Football. Male adult referees with ages ranging from 29 to 43 years were included in the study. Questionnaires related to the demographic personal characteristics, anxiety, physical health, stress, burnout, and depression were filled out by the participants.ResultsThe mean age of the participants was 40±3.35 years. Of the participants, 34 were unmarried and eight were married; 32 participants did not have children and 10 did. A total of 36 participants had recieved higher education and six recieved only high school education. Participants were under moderate training schedules of 5 sessions/week of 1½–2 h each and had moderate years of experience (30–50 matches/year). With regard to the Burnout Anxiety Inventory, 63.3% of the participating referees showed no signs of anxiety, 18.4% were at borderline, 15.9% showed mild signs, and 1% presented with moderate records. With regard to the mind over mood depression scores, 35 participants showed no signs, whereas only two showed low signs. The Beck Depression Inventory scores of all participants was in the range of 0–7, that is, they had normal levels of depression. The physical wellness scores of 31 participants were recorded as excellent, whereas five recorded only average scores. With respect to the life stress scores, 67% of participants had normal life stress scores compared with 33% who were more prone to suffer or experience illnesses or accidents from life stress incidents. The Burnout Inventory scale revealed that 47.05% of participants had little signs and 52.95% showed low signs of burnout, with none being at risk. The Maslach results were also in concordance, according to which only one referee suffered from a burnout.ConclusionThus, it may be deduced that, although the present levels of burnout may not be high, there is always potential for it to increase. Thus, programs on burnout are suggested to be included in training courses for referees to prevent the start of symptoms. It is therefore recommended that physical checkup be supplemented with psychiatric and psychological examinations in the periodical assessments of physical health for football referees.

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