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Athlete Mental Health Research: Kirsty’s Experience Using Covidence

Delve into Kirsty’s journey as she navigates the realms of athlete mental health research, using the robust capabilities of Covidence.

Meet Kirsty

Who is Kirsty?

My name is Kirsty and I have just completed a Masters by Research at the University of Birmingham in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. 

Understanding Kirsty's Research

Focus of the Research

My research is about athletes’ perspectives on help-seeking for their mental health. I investigated athletes’ access to support for their mental health, attitudes towards and preferences for support, and experiences of seeking help for their mental health. 

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The Role of Covidence in Kirsty's Research

I opted for Covidence to undertake a scoping review alongside my co-authors Professor Jennifer Cumming, Dr. Mary Quinton, and Dr. Grace Tidmarsh.

What did you like about Covidence?

Using Covidence made conducting this scoping review very efficient! This was really important given the size of my review and the limited time I had to conduct it as part of my masters. Given the involvement of multiple reviewers, it made it easier for us to conduct it together because everything was already organised in one place. 

Favorite Features

Tagging papers: During title and abstract screening the tagging function was really helpful. I used tags to locate papers that I thought could have been useful during the write up of different sections or discussion points in my thesis. 

I also tended to get distracted by interesting literature not related to the review! So, I tagged papers as ‘Interesting but irrelevant’ or with tags for topics I had wanted to write about in the future. This enabled me to maintain momentum with title and abstract screening. 

Adding Notes: At every stage, the ability to add notes to the paper was a great feature and made the write-up phase much easier. I added notes for a variety of reasons: if I was unsure whether a paper should have been included in the review, questions during data extraction, if I could not locate the PDF, and the steps I had taken to find a paper (e.g., emailed the author) if I could not locate the PDF.

Uploading PDFs to Covidence: Being able to upload PDFs to Covidence by dragging and dropping directly from downloads had made the process of full text review and data extraction very efficient. It removed the hassle of finding the PDF on another site, and it was already there for the other reviewers. I also loved that Covidence uploaded some PDFs automatically! 

PRISMA Flow Chart Creation: During the write up of my scoping review, I greatly appreciated the fact that Covidence automatically created a PRISMA flow diagram. This saved a huge amount of time and made writing up the methods section a lot easier. 

Reference to the Scoping Review Protocol

For those interested in delving deeper into the topic, Kirsty and her co-authors have published a protocol of the scoping review:

Brown, K. R., Quinton, M. L., Tidmarsh, G., & Cumming, J. (2023). Athletes’ access to, attitudes towards and experiences of help-seeking for mental health: A scoping review protocol. BMJ Open, 13(4), e062279. 

To Keep Updated  

To stay in touch with the latest developments of the review, and the publication of the results please subscribe to the Sprint Project website here where we will update our readers on publications via our blog.  

Now that I have successfully used Covidence once, I will definitely be using it again as I start my PhD, and will be encouraging other team members to as well!  

Connect with Kirsty

LinkedIn | Twitter



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