n International SportMed Journal - Medical examinations in Dutch professional football (soccer) : a qualitative study : original research

Volume 15, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



There is no recent scientific information available on the perceptions of active and former professional football players on medical examinations during and after their careers. The aim of this study was to explore which kind of medical examinations are currently addressed during and after a career as professional football player in the Netherlands and what are the needs towards improvement in these medical examinations. cross sectional study. A qualitative research was conducted based on semi-structured, audio-recorded telephone interviews with eight active professional football players, eight former professional football players and eight club physicians. At present, the contents of medical examinations are directed to the cardiovascular, pulmonary and musculoskeletal systems. All three target groups criticize the current organization and content of the medical examinations. After a career in professional football, sport-specific medical examinations are still lacking. Proposals were done focusing more on the prevention of physical and psychosocial problems preferably organized more centrally. The content of the current medical examinations in Dutch professional football is criticized by all participant groups. Recommendations were made towards improvements of the medical examinations during and after the career of a professional football player, especially with regard to the prevention of potential long-term health problems. Centrally organized medical examinations for former professional football players were proposed.

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