Empowering the health of retired professional footballers: The systematic development of an after Career Consultation and its feasibility

Vincent Gouttebarge, Edwin Goedhart, Gino Kerkhoffs

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Objectives This article describes (1) the systematic development of the intervention and (2) the assessment of its feasibility (in terms of relevancy, suitability, satisfaction and added value). Methods The intervention was developed based on the first four steps of the Intervention Mapping and Knowledge Transfer Scheme processes. Subsequently, a qualitative research based on a one-group post-test cross-sectional design was conducted. Eight retired professional footballers underwent the developed intervention and its feasibility (operationalised in relevancy, suitability, satisfaction and added value) was assessed by means of a questionnaire and interview. Results An After Career Consultation (ACC) was developed with a focus on five main domains: (1) detraining from professional football; (2) remission of osteoarthritis; (3) promotion of healthy lifestyle; (4) preventing mental and cognitive health problems; and (5) employment and education. The ACC relies on three components: (1) raising self-awareness about potential physical, mental and social health problems after a career in professional football; (2) medical examination (60 min) with thorough medical history and general physical examination; and (3) follow-up during 3 months (if necessary) about optimal skills and strategies to empower physical, mental and social health and quality of life. The relevancy, suitability, satisfaction and added value of the ACC were positively evaluated by the retired professional footballers. Conclusion The ACC was developed with a focus on five main health-related domains. The feasibility of the ACC was positively assessed by retired professional footballers, while the suggestion was made to repeat the ACC in the initial years after football retirement.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000466
JournalBMJ open sport & exercise medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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