Health-related quality of life and flourishing in current and former recreational and elite cricketers.
Bullock GS., Collins GS., Peirce N., Arden NK., Filbay SR.
BACKGROUND: Health related quality of life (HRQoL) and flourishing are constructs that encompasses a holistic representation of physical, psychological, and social health. The underlying psychological factors that can affect HRQoL and flourishing in sports participants is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to i) evaluate HRQoL (physical and mental-components) and flourishing in recreational and elite and current and former cricketers; ii) determine the effect of resilience, playing-standard, and playing status on HRQoL and flourishing in cricketers. METHODS: The Cricket Health and Wellbeing Study (n = 2598 current and former cricketers, aged ≥18 years) collected cross-sectional questionnaire data including the Flourishing Scale, Short Form-8 (physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component scores), resilience (European Social Survey), highest standard-of-play, and playing status. Multivariable linear regressions with fractional polynomials were utilised, adjusted for age, gender, total cricket-seasons, comorbidity, ≥ 4-week time-loss injury, and orthopaedic surgery. RESULTS: Two thousand two hundred eighty individuals (aged (mean (SD)) 51.7(14.7) years, 61% played recreationally, 37% former cricketers) were included in analyses. The median (IQR) PCS was 51.4(46.9-55.9), MCS was 54.3(50.0-58.6), and Flourishing Scale score was 48 [ (1-7)] .Greater resilience was associated with better PCS (effect (95% CI) 1.41(0.70-2.11)), MCS (4.78(4.09-5.48)), and flourishing (2.07(2.55-3.59)) compared to less resilience. Playing standard was not associated with HRQoL. Playing at an elite standard was associated with greater flourishing (1.21(0.68, 1.73)), compared with playing recreationally. Current cricket participation was associated with better PCS (3.61(2.92-4.30)) and flourishing scores (0.53(0.02-1.04)), compared to former cricket participation. CONCLUSION: Cricketers reported high levels of mental-components of HRQoL and flourishing, and this was similar in recreational, elite, current and former cricketers. Current cricket participation and a higher standard-of-play was associated with greater flourishing. Current cricket participation was also associated with better PCS, however playing-status was not related to MCS. Further research is needed to understand if cricket participation may have psychological benefits that persist beyond cricket retirement.