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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 211-218

A mixed-method study about performance-enhancing agents: Exploring the insights of university students, public, and sports club stakeholders


1 Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacotherapeutics Department, College of Pharmacy, The University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
2 Clinical Sciences Department, College of Medicine, The University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
3 Department of Family and Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, College of Medicine, The University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Nabil Sulaiman
Department of Family and Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, College of Medicine, The University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah
UAE
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/abhs.abhs_34_22

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Background: This mixed-method study explored knowledge, perceptions, and practices of performance-enhancing agents (PEAs) among university students, the public, and sports club stakeholders in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: A mixed-method study was conducted; a total of 353 participants (289 students and 64 members of the public) completed the web-based survey, and 34 sports club stakeholders and 6 community pharmacists were interviewed. Results: These showed that most sports club stakeholders were unfamiliar with the prohibited substances in the UAE. Moreover, some interviewees were unwilling to learn more about PEAs. Out of the participants, 72% of the students and 78% of the public had positive perceptions about prohibiting certain and harmful types of PEAs in sports and reported unfavorable views toward doping agents’ users. Regarding the personal experience with banned substance(s), 5.7% of the students and 3.2% of the public reported using them. There was a clear diversity among sports club stakeholders regarding the problem of doping in the UAE. Conclusion: There were gaps in knowledge about World Anti-Doping Agency’s role. Participants have the impression that doping is prevalent among bodybuilders, non-athletes, and young individuals in private gyms. In conclusion, there is a significant gap in knowledge of doping among university students and sports club stakeholders, highlighting the need for tailored education programs specifically designed for sports club stakeholders, and students aiming at reducing PEAs use.


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