Mental health symptoms in electronic football players

Ana Monteiro Pereira, Pedro Teques, Evert Verhagen, Vincent Gouttebarge, Pedro Figueiredo, João Brito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background The escalated competitive pressure and professionalisation of esports players could predispose them to mental health symptoms. We aimed to develop a model to explore the association between distress and anxiety/depression symptoms and potential associations between adaptive or maladaptive coping strategies, sleeping disturbance, alcohol consumption and eating habits in electronic football players. Methods The present exploratory cross-sectional study includes the Distress Screener, General Health Questionnaire, Brief Cope, Sleep Disturbance Domain of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test Consumption and a set of questions regarding eating habits. A two-step robust maximum likelihood method of the Structural Equation Modelling approach was used. Results Both measurement model (χ 2 /df=1065.04 (637), p<0.001; Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI)=0.91, Comparative Fit Index (CFI)=0.92, standardised root mean residual (SRMR)=0.07 and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA)=0.05; 95% CI 0.043 to 0.053) and hypothesised structural model (χ 2 /df=1131.98 (648); p<0.001; TLI=0.90, CFI=0.91, SRMR=0.07 and RMSEA=0.05; 95% CI 0.054 to 0.06) showed an adequate fit to the data. Stress was positively related with depression and anxiety symptoms. Only anxiety symptoms were linked with coping strategies. Maladaptive coping strategies were related to sleep disturbance, alcohol consumption and poor eating habits, whereas adaptive coping strategies were associated with less sleep disturbance, reduced alcohol consumption and better eating habits. Conclusion An integrative approach to help electronic football players when early signs of distress are present might help avoid other mental health symptoms that interfere with players' well-being and overall health. Additionally, adequate coping strategies to manage anxiety symptoms due to distress may help counteract potential negative consequences for lifestyle habits in electronic football players.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001149
JournalBMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 11 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mental
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Mental health symptoms in electronic football players'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this