Table 2

Prevalence (%; 95% CI) of mental health symptoms in male and female Australian professional footballers (active and former)

Active professional footballersFormer professional footballers
Male (N=149)Female (N=132)(N=81)
Sport-related psychological distress52.0 (44.0 to 60.1)62.9 (54.6 to 71.1)
Global psychological distress9.5 (5.6 to 15.4)18.9 (13.1 to 26.5)26.3 (17.1 to 35.0)*
Anxiety4.7 (2.1 to 9.6)8.3 (4.6 to 14.5)11.3 (5.3 to 18.5)
 Mild22.3 (15.9 to 29.9)32.6 (25.2 to 41.0)38.8 (30.2 to 50.2)
 Moderate2.7 (0.8 to 7.0)6.0 (2.9 to 11.7)9.0 (3.7 to 15.8)
 Severe2.0 (0.4 to 5.6)2.3 (0.5 to 6.8)2.3 (0.1 to 8.4)
Depression6.8 (3.6 to 12.1)10.6 (6.3 to 17.1)12.5 (7.0 to 21.2)
 Mild20.3 (14.5 to 27.7)35.6 (27.9 to 44.1)26.1 (18.0 to 36.2)
 Moderate5.4 (2.4 to 10.4)8.3 (4.6 to 14.5)9.1 (4.5 to 17.2)
 Severe1.4 (0.1 to 4.8)2.3 (0.5 to 6.8)3.4 (0.8 to 10.0)
Sleep disturbance12.2 (7.8 to 18.5)32.6 (25.2 to 41.0)32.5 (23.0 to 42.2)*
 Mild87.8 (81.1 to 92.6)67.4 (59.0 to 74.8)67.5 (57.8 to 77.0)
 Moderate6.8 (3.6 to 12.1)23.5 (17.0 to 31.4)21.1 (13.3 to 30.1)
 Severe5.4 (2.6 to 10.4)9.1 (5.2 to 15.4)11.4 (6.1 to 19.9)
Alcohol misuse50.7 (42.7 to 58.6)43.8 (35.6 to 52.4)68.8 (60.2 to 79.0)*
Substance misuse2.0 (0.4 to 6.1)1.5 (0.1 to 5.8)10.0 (6.1 to 19.9)*
Problem gambling23.6 (17.5 to 31.1)2.3 (0.5 to 6.9)32.5 (23.0 to 42.2)
Disordered eating35.1 (27.9 to 43.1)43.8 (35.6 to 52.4)40.0 (28.1 to 48.0)
  • N, number of participants; %, percentage; CI, confidence of interval.

  • *Significant difference (p<0.01) with active male players.