The Drake Football Study
Principal Investigators: Vincent Gouttebarge, Gino Kerkhoffs
Co-Investigators: Thor Einar Andersen, Charlotte Cowie, Edwin Goedhart, Harald Jørstad, Simon Kemp, Marsh Konigs, Mario Maas, Emmanuel Orhant, Jussi Rantanen, Jari Salo, Luis Serratosa, Keith Stokes, Johannes Tol, Evert Verhagen, Alexis Weber
Institutions: Amsterdam UMC, FIFPRO, The Professional Footballers’ Association, Jalkapallon Pelaajayhdistys Ry, Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels, Vereniging Van Contractspelers, Norske Idrettsutøveres Sentralorganisasjon, Spelarföreningen Fotboll i Sverige, Swiss Association of Football Players
The Drake Football Study is the most comprehensive study to-date to measure the mental and physical health of professional footballers over time and was officially launched at a dedicated symposium in London in October 2019.
The study has been part-funded by a number of collaborators in addition to founding funder The Drake Foundation, and will involve partners from across Europe, including the World Players’ Union (FIFPRO), Amsterdam University Medical Centers (both the Netherlands) and Mehiläinen NEO Hospital (Finland).
The research team is led by Vincent Gouttebarge (Chief Medical Officer at FIFPRO) and Gino Kerkhoffs (Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Amsterdam University Medical Centers). Researchers will gather epidemiological data on musculoskeletal, neurocognitive, cardiovascular and mental health trends of professional footballers over their pre- and post-retirement years, with data collection anticipated to run for a minimum of 10 years.
It is hoped that this longitudinal study – the first of its kind – will provide new insights into players’ health across their careers and into retirement. This information could ultimately enable health professionals to develop preventative and curative measures for future generations of players, as well as wider society.
- Gouttebarge V, Andersen TE, Cowie C et al. Monitoring the health of transitioning professional footballers: protocol of an observational prospective cohort study. BMJ Open Sp. Ex. Med. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2019-0006801 (2019).
News and links
- The Drake Football Study: observational cohort protocol now published – Concussion Zone
- English football players to join 10-year health study – The Drake Foundation
- Groundbreaking new research announced into footballers’ health – The Telegraph
- FIFPro launches long-term physical and mental health study of players – Sky Sports
- The Drake Foundation commits funding to The Drake Football Study and symposium on health challenges in professional football – The Drake Foundation