Anxiety and Mood Clinical Profile Following Sport-Related Concussion: From Risk Factors to Treatment

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Abstract

Conceptual models for assessing and treating sport-related concussion (SRC) have evolved from a homogenous approach to include different clinical profiles that reflect the heterogeneous nature of this injury and its effects. There are six identified clinical profiles, or subtypes, from SRC, and one such clinical profile is the anxiety and mood profile. Athletes with this profile experience predominant emotional disturbance and anxiety following SRC. The purpose of this targeted review was to present an overview of the empirical evidence to support factors contributing to the anxiety and mood profile, along with methods of evaluation and treatment of this clinical profile following SRC. We discuss the potential underlying mechanisms and risk factors for this clinical profile, describe comprehensive assessments to evaluate concussed athletes with an anxiety and mood clinical profile, and explore behavioral and other interventions for treating these athletes. Although there is limited, but growing, empirical evidence for the anxiety and mood clinical profile following SRC, understanding this clinical profile is germane for clinicians who are treating athletes with emotional sequelae after SRC.

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