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Systematic Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02077

Observational studies in male elite football: A systematic mixed study review

  • 1Puigvert Foundation, Spain
  • 2University of Barcelona, Spain
  • 3National Administrative Department of Statistics (Colombia), Colombia
  • 4University of La Rioja, Spain


Objective: This systematic mixed study review focused on the use of observation methodology in elite men's football matches, which constitutes an innovative approach that opens up a new panorama of useful and productive research.
Method: It follows the recommendations for systematic reviews and meta-analysis guidelines (PRISMA). The search was carried out in 5 databases. The articles selected and analyzed were 94 out of a total of 3,195. In order to achieve a quality assessment, the Guide has been used to inform evaluations based on observation methodology (GREOM) (Portell et al., 2013), recognized by the EQUATOR network.
Results: From the methodological review analysis, information obtained indicates that 97% of the investigations used direct observation and 3% indirect observation. On the other hand, 56.5% of the articles explain the instrument used and 77% justify the applied observational design. A quantitative comparison of the proportions was made in several methodological aspects, which resulted in only 15.21% reviewing the quality of the data, and that 67.3% of the articles contribute to the mixed methods approach. The methodological review allowed to establish procedural profiles.
The results indicate that 67% of the articles have been published in English, and of these, 77% have an impact factor. The majority of the researchers, 53.26%, belong to Spanish entities. The most studied substantive aspects were goal (34%), possession of the ball (28%) and corner (27%). The most observed events were Leagues, World Cups, individual players and other events.
Conclusions: The results obtained refer to both substantive and methodological aspects, and allow us to configure a systematic review of mixed studies, in which we emphasize the aspects of 'systematic review' and 'mixed study', within an integrated perspective.

Keywords: professional soccer, mixed methods, systematic observation, methodological systematic review, GREOM

Received: 14 Jun 2019; Accepted: 26 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 PRECIADO, Anguera, Olarte and Lapresa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mrs. MARIA PRECIADO, Puigvert Foundation, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, preciado030@gmail.com