To observe brain health at pre-season in a semi-professional rugby team.
55 semi-professional players provided data during a pre-season screen using the following measures: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Rivermead Post Concussion Symptom Questionnaire (Rpq-3 and Rpq-13) Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test.
A disturbed sleep pattern and sense of smell were noted in 41.8% and 55.8% of players. BDI-II indicated that 72.7% were minimally and 5.5% were mildly depressed. The BAI revealed that 50.9% had minimal, 18.2% mild and 1.8% moderate levels of anxiety. The mean±SD for Rqp-3 and Rpq-13 were 1±1 and 3.4±4. Significant correlations were observed between PSQI and RPQ-13, RPQ-3, BDI-II and BAI (r=.31-.62, p<0.01). Age was found to negatively correlate with Rpq-13 (p<0.01). Additional negative correlations were observed for years of club rugby experience, Rpq-13 (r=-.41, p<0.01) and BAI (r=-.35, p=0.03). Years of semi-professional rugby experience was negatively correlated to Rpq-13 (r=-.33, p=0.01) and BDI-II (r=-.32, p=0.04).
These findings provide a snapshot of pre-season brain health in semi-professional players. This forms the basis for further investigations and understanding the effect that concussive and sub-concussive impacts have on the brain.