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Evaluation of a health promotion programme to prevent the misuse of androgenic anabolic steroids among Swedish adolescents

Journal article
Authors Sverker Nilsson
Peter Allebeck
Bertil Marklund
Amir Baigi
Bengt Fridlund
Published in HEALTH PROMOTION INTERNATIONAL
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 61-67
ISSN 0957-4824
Publication year 2004
Published at Institute of Community Medicine, Dept of Primary Health Care
Institute of Community Medicine, Dept of Social Medicine
Pages 61-67
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dah108
Keywords school, education, abuse, intervention
Subject categories Public health medicine research areas, Public Administration Studies

Abstract

The aim of this study was to design an appearance programme in order to prevent the misuse of androgenic anabolic steroids among adolescents and to evaluate the adolescents' perception of this programme. The study was performed in all schools in a primary health care area on the south west coast of Sweden. The intervention targeted all 16- and 17-year-old males and females (n = 921). The intervention and evaluation were completed by 451 boys. The strategy of the appearance programme was to create awareness of and to discuss attitudes towards steroid hormones among these adolescents. Youth leaders and health workers, who discussed these subjects with adolescents over a period of 2 years, carried out the intervention programme. The perception of the programme was analysed anonymously using questionnaires. Effects on the total population of youths were assessed by two cross-sectional surveys. The intervention programme was well received by the adolescents. The misuse of androgenic anabolic steroids had a tendency to decrease after the appearance programme. We demonstrated a method for involving the community in an appearance programme to reduce misuse of anabolic steroids and showed that youth were sensitive to our discussions about appearance and attitudes. This study indicates that drug abuse among adolescents can be decreased by health promotion activities, such as group discussions. Controlled studies are needed before the results of this appearance programme can be generalized. Key words: adolescents; androgenic anabolics; appearance; intervention

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