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What Do Athletes Know on the Effect of Steroids? An Exploratory Study in Italy

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Despite the evidence of risks related to the use of anabolic steroids for the improvement of athletic performances, the diffusion of such drugs appears to be increasing. An exploratory study was conducted in Cagliari, Italy, to assess the level of information on this issue, to esteem the use of steroids among athletes, to measure the wellbeing of athletes and the risks related to steroid use. A sample of 192 athletes, including 142 non-agonists and 50 agonists (age range: 18 to 36) was invited to fill in a booklet including several selfreport questionnaires. The questionnaire for the assessment of the beliefs regarding the effects of anabolic steroids was developed and validated for the study, while the Self Reporting Questionnaire was used for the assessment of the mental health aspects. A general lack of information on the specific effects of steroid use on general and psychic health, as well as on sportive performances was found. Athletes were also quite unaware of the diffusion of steroids among them. Since the sportive environment seems to be the main source of information, this channel should be targeted to address the prevention and information campaigns. The use of more specific tools and the investigation of the perception of reliability of the information sources as well as the social desirability issues should be explored in future studies.
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Keywords: Doping; androgenic anabolic steroids; mental health

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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