Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Career development is no longer conceived as a linear process but instead viewed as unstable and transitional over the individual’s life span. Research has shown that individuals’ ability to successfully negotiate transitions has implications for their mental health, motivation and productivity. This has increased pressure on organisational support systems to put in place infrastructures to empower individuals to manage their career paths and deal with multiple transitions. This is certainly the case in Irish high performance sport where the need to enhance elite athletes’ ability to negotiate transitions and cope with mental health difficulties has been publicly highlighted by several high profile male Irish athletes. How effective an individual is in making a transition and adjusting to change depends on a number of factors including the individual’s personal resources. Career adaptability is a personal resource that is described as the individual’s ability to deal with change. Research has shown that career adaptability is malleable and highly correlated with psychological well-being. In response to the identified need of the Irish Sports Council’s, Irish Institute of Sport, the aim of this project is to develop and test an athlete transition support programme that will enhance career adaptability and psychological well-being in approximately 200 Irish Olympic and Paralympic athletes. As part of the research process, the project will explore gender issues relevant to the development of the intervention programme. It is envisioned that this research will expand the knowledge and skills of Irish service providers working with elite athletes in the area of athlete career transition. The outcomes of this study will improve current support networks around elite Irish athletes and inform policies related to improving athlete support systems and mental health.

Who can participate?
Adults who have been involved in an Irish high-performance sport programme

What does the study involve?
Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two groups: the intervention or the control group.
In the intervention group, participants will watch a psycho-educational video clip and attend 3 psycho-education workshops. In the control group, participants will go about life as usual.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants will have the opportunity of learning about: normal responses to major transitions in sport; planning and goal-setting; how to identify and check unhelpful thinking; emotion regulation strategies; self-regulation strategies – planning; problem solving techniques. There are no risks to participants beyond that which they encounter in everyday life. The manner and questions used to assess whether this support programme works are non-intrusive.

Where is the study run from?
Irish Institute of Sport, Dublin

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2015 to June 2018

Who is funding the study?
Irish Research Council and Irish Institute of Sport.

Who is the main contact?
Ms Emma Burrows

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Ms Emma Burrows


Contact details

School of Health and Human Performance
Dublin City University
+353 0892481988

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a career transition programme to increase adaptability and psychological well-being in elite Irish athletes and their service providers


Study hypothesis

A 4-part psycho-education intervention will improve adaptability and psychological well-being in members of the elite Irish sport community.

Ethics approval

Research and Innovation Support (Dublin City University), 08/09/2014, ref: DCUREC/2014/194

Study design

Interventional wait list control design with pre and post testing

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet


Adaptability and psychological well-being


1. Intervention arm involves exposure to psycho-educational video clip and attendance at 3 psycho-education workshops targeting adaptability and psychological well-being.
2. Control arm involves life as usual.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Learning, adaptability and psychological well-being. Data collection methods will include surveys such as The COMPAS-W Scale of Wellbeing©, Career Adaptabilities Form 2.0, The Self Control and Self-Management Scale, the Shortened General Attitudes and Beliefs Scale and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21)

Measurements taken pre and post intervention, and also at 2 months and 6 months following the 2016 Olympic/Paralympic Games.

Secondary outcome measures

Self-efficacy, problem solving skills.

Measurements taken pre and post intervention, and also at 2 months and 6 months following the 2016 Olympic/Paralympic Games.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Current or prior involvement in an Irish high-performance sport programme
2. 18 years and over

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

200 members of the elite sport community comprising athletes, coaches and service providers

Participant exclusion criteria


Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Irish Institute of Sport
National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown
Co. Dublin

Sponsor information


School of Health and Human Performance

Sponsor details

Dublin City University

Sponsor type




Funder type

Research council

Funder name

Irish Research Council

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

other non-profit



Funder name

Irish Institute of Sport

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

We anticipate findings will be presented at one European and one International conference in 2017/2018. Results will be submitted for publication to a peer reviewed journal in 2018. Dissemination channels will include social media. The intervention study will contribute to the submission of a doctoral thesis and the final thesis will be deposited in DORAS, Dublin City University’s open access institutional repository.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Not expected to be available

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes