Psychological Issues Related to Illness and Injury in Athletes and the Team Physician: A Consensus Statement—2016 Update

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Team physicians must address the physical and psychological issues related to athletic activity. This athletic activity may result in illness and injury, and produce a variety of psychological responses, some of which may negatively affect sports participation. Additionally, psychological factors, especially stress, may be an important antecedent to injuries. These factors may play an important role in injury treatment and rehabilitation and contribute to successful return-to-play (RTP). Several psychological issues, including stress/anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance use disorders can have illness or injury as triggers and/or have unique presentations in the athletic population. Some athletes may be predisposed to certain psychological issues.
This document will address select psychological issues and in particular focus on issues related to the team physician and their role in recognizing athletes at risk and providing referrals for additional care.
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