Volume 29, Issue 5 (8-2022)                   RJMS 2022, 29(5): 108-116 | Back to browse issues page

Research code: 1587
Ethics code: IR.IAU.SARI.REC.1401.039
Clinical trials code: 1

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dana A, Safarkhan Moazeni A, Safarkhan Moazeni J. Biological Experience of the Psychological Effects of COVID-19 Disease in Iranian Professional Athletes. RJMS 2022; 29 (5) :108-116
URL: http://rjms.iums.ac.ir/article-1-6716-en.html
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Education, Gonbad Kavoos Branch, Islamic Azad University, Gonbad Kavoos, Iran , amirdana2010@gmail.com
Abstract:   (1606 Views)
Background & Aims: Mental health plays a very important role in individual relationships and its importance is shown in how family relationships and social activities and other aspects of life (1). The study of psychological issues in sports has a long history and researchers in sports have always tried to find evidence in this regard (6). Among the psychological domains and dimensions, some variables play a more important role among athletes and overshadow their athletic performance (7). This is due to the important role of psychological issues in the performance of athletes. Another thing that seems to affect psychological characteristics is physical condition and illness. One of these diseases is COVID-19, which the World Health Organization announced in 2020 that this virus is similar to the Sars virus (this virus existed between 2002-2003 and left about 8000 cases of infection and 800 deaths). and MERS virus (this virus was reported in 2012, which caused about 2,500 infections and 800 deaths) (8). The widespread spread of this virus has caused major concerns worldwide (9). Another thing that seems to affect psychological characteristics is physical condition and illness. One of these diseases is COVID-19, which has caused disorders in people's lives due to economic, social, occupational and psychological problems (10). Meanwhile, professional athletes have also experienced major problems in their training during the COVID-19 virus crisis. This will undoubtedly have a negative effect on them mentally and will cause them to malfunction in the future. The uncertainty of the condition of some of the psychological effects of COVID-19 virus has led to the lack of evidence regarding the status of professional athletes in terms of psychological effects following the outbreak of COVID-19 virus. Therefore, the researcher is trying to answer the question: What are the psychological effects of COVID-19 disease in Iranian professional athletes?
Methods: To conduct this research, which was carried out with a phenomenological qualitative method, 13 professional athletes in individual sports in the country and using purposive sampling method, 13 people were selected as a sample in the qualitative section. Then, in order to collect data from them, semi-structured interviews were conducted and coding was done in both primary and secondary forms.
Results: After the interviews, the initial codes were identified that 24 codes in three dimensions of mental effects including codes (increased stress, reduced mental health, obsessive-compulsive disorder, increased anxiety, decreased attention, prevalence of depression, formation of mental fatigue, disorder) Fear, psychosis, creating negative emotions, frustration), behavioral effects including codes (creating obsessions, creating problems with sleep quality, decreased mood, insecure decision making, increased violence, decreased interpersonal emotions) and social effects including Codes (collectivism, low social skills, poor athletic performance, reduced capital, social distrust, extreme isolation and family conflicts). The significance coefficient of each code is given
in Table 1. In general, the uncertainty and low predictability of this disease not only threatens people's physical health, but also affects people's mental health, especially in terms of emotions and cognition. Long-term negative emotions reduce people's immune function and destroy the balance of their normal physiological mechanisms. People may overreact to any illness, which leads to avoidance behaviors. Also, uncertainty about the future situation causes cognitive dissonance and insecurity, and when people feel the risk of illness, they behave in a conservative and cautious manner (18); However, this issue had not been carefully investigated among professional athletes, especially among professional athletes in Iran. On the other hand, one of the works that was seriously considered in the present research, and it seems that it was not seriously considered in other researches, is the social works. Social effects such as phobias, low social skills, low sports performance, reduction of social capital, social mistrust, severe isolation and family conflicts have been identified as one of the problems caused by the disease of COVID-19, which shows that It is important to pay attention to this issue among professional athletes. It seems that the fear and anxiety caused by the spread of the Covid-19 virus, along with the lack of a strong information and awareness system among professional athletes, have caused mental, behavioral and social problems in this regard.
Conclusion: The prevalence of COVID-19 virus as a key issue has been able to affect all aspects of human beings. Due to the spread of this virus, all people, including athletes, have been affected from different angles. From an individual perspective, athletes suffer from physical and mental problems that can cause long-term side effects. In other words, the general condition of the athletes showed that their anxiety condition is more acute than depression. Athletes' anxiety about the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus does not seem to be as good as other people in the community, and given that the virus has not been around the world for a long time, it can lead to depression. It is not in them (7). On the other hand, social effects such as phobia, low social skills, low athletic performance, reduced social capital, social distrust, extreme isolation and family conflicts have been identified as one of the problems caused by COVID-19 disease, which indicates It is important to pay attention to this issue among professional athletes. It seems that the fear and anxiety caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 virus, along with the lack of a strong information and awareness system among professional athletes, has caused mental, behavioral and social problems in this regard today. On the other hand, the epidemic of this virus and the lack of serious attention of clubs to control the negative effects of this virus has been able to create problems among athletes in the mental, behavioral and social fields.
According to the findings of the research, it is suggested to group and screen the athletes based on their psychological status to recognize the different statuses of the athletes. Also, by creating a database regarding the various dimensions of the COVID-19 virus among athletes, he improved the sufficient information and knowledge regarding the COVID-19 virus and professional athletes; And by strengthening the athletes' immune system, he reduced the anxiety and stress of professional athletes in dealing with the COVID-19 virus. Finally, by holding training courses to improve mind management skills, he promoted the knowledge and skills of professional athletes in dealing with existing conditions.

 
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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