Athletes’ access to, attitudes towards, and experiences of help-seeking for mental health: A scoping review protocol

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


Introduction Athletes are not immune to mental health issues but are less likely to seek help than nonathletes and experience barriers including lack of access to services, lack of knowledge as to how to access services and negative past experiences for help-seeking. Formal and semi-formal sources of support (e.g. support provided in healthcare, sporting context, and higher education systems) are key places for athletes to seek help for mental health, and there is a need to synthesise the evidence on athletes’ access, attitudes to, and experiences of, these services. This protocol outlines a scoping review that will be used to map the evidence, identify gaps in the literature, and summarise findings on athletes’ access, attitudes to and experiences of help-seeking for their mental health.

Methods and analysis The methodological frameworks of Arksey and O’Malley (2005), Levac et al. (2010), and the Joanna Briggs Institute (2020 & 2021) were used to inform this scoping review protocol alongside the PRISMA-P checklist and published scoping review protocols within sport and health. This protocol outlines the background evidence, need for this scoping review, and the steps that will be taken.

Dissemination The evidence will be mapped numerically and thematically to describe studies and highlight key concepts, themes, and gaps in the literature. The published scoping review will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders and policymakers including those in healthcare, the sporting context, and the higher education system. The resulting outputs will be in the form of both peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed publications (e.g. multimedia in the form of a blog post and at conferences).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2022


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