Determining the efficacy of mental health awareness interventions in sport using a systematic review

Stephen Shannon, Gavin Breslin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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A systematic review provides a synthesis of studies on a specific topic, enabling researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to assess the current evidence base and make informed choices on viable public health interventions. This case study demonstrates our experience in conducting a systematic review that aimed to determine the effect of mental health awareness interventions among sports coaches, athletes, and officials. The review process was based on available methodological guidance, with our team registering the review protocol on PROSPERO, adopting the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, and standardizing the screening process and reporting methods. The findings led us to the conclusion that caution should be taken when interpreting and implementing present interventions that aimed to raise awareness of mental health in sport due to weak methodological quality. The article was published in the Systematic Reviews journal, informed sports policy in Northern Ireland, and demonstrated scientific impact by being cited in international consensus statements on athlete mental health. Invaluable research experience was gained throughout the review, and this case study intends to provide an overview of both our positive and challenging experiences. Recommendations are provided for postgraduate researchers embarking on similar pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalSAGE Research Methods Cases.
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • systematic review
  • sport
  • mental health
  • research methods


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