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International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sport Mental Health Assessment Tool 1 (SMHAT-1) and Sport Mental Health Recognition Tool 1 (SMHRT-1): towards better support of athletes’ mental health
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  • Published on:
    Mental health assessment and management in elite athletes: Comment to the IOC Sport Mental Health Assessment Tool 1 (SMHAT-1)
    • Malte Christian Claussen, Psychiatrist/ Neurologist Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich (PUK), University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland
    • Other Contributors:
      • Carlos Gonzalez Hofmann, Psychiatrist
      • Christian Imboden, Psychiatrist
      • Ulrich Hemmeter, Psychiatrist
      • Marcel Ivan Raas, Psychiatrist
      • Erich Seifritz, Psychiatrist
      • Andres Ricardo Schneeberger, Psychiatrist

    Activities to improve early detection, assessment, and management of mental health symptoms and mental disorders in competitive sports has to be supported, and the basic concept of “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sport Mental Health Assessment Tool 1 (SMHAT-1)” is excellent [1]. However, there are various aspects in the SMHAT-1, that need critical discussion according to standards and guidelines for mental disorders [e.g., 2,3].

    Mental health assessment and management

    The SMHAT-1 was developed for sports medicine physicians and other licensed/registered health professionals, e.g. psychiatrists and psychologists [1]. At step 1 (triage) the Athlete Psychological Strain Questionnaire (APSQ) assesses sport-related psychological distress. Athletes with a APSQ Score ≥ 17 are being referred to step 2 (screening) and evaluated based on six disorder-specific screening questionnaires. Taking into consideration the athlete’s history/record and the information provided, the administrator might refer the athlete to step 3a for a brief intervention and monitoring. If one or more of the screening questionnaires are positive, the athlete proceeds to step 3b. In this step a sport medicine physician and/or mental health professional will conduct a comprehensive clinical assessment, in order to identify a clinical diagnosis.

    Questionnaires are useful in early detection and assessment of psychiatric symptoms and disorders, as part of the clinical assessment und...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.