[General practitioners and doping in sports: knowledge and attitudes]

Sante Publique. 1997 Jun;9(2):145-56.
[Article in French]


Most campaigns of prevention from doping (use of certain substances by athlete that could have an effect like an artificial improvement of his (or her) physical and/or mental conditions) have been relied on the physicians considered as main actors in this field. However do the physicians have the necessary knowledge and attitudes and do they simply wish to take part pertinently in actions of doping prevention? This study has been conducted in order to examine their knowledge and attitudes in front of doping, to evaluate their role in the prevention campaign. So 280 french physicians have randomly been selected and interviewed by telephone. The response rate was about 62%. The selected population was made up of 173 physicians in which were 122 males and 51 females, the average age was 44.5 +/- 6.5 years. The questioned physicians seemed to have a few knowledge about doping, in particular through the eight families of prohibited substances in which they only mentioned anabolic steroids and amphetamines. Only 50% of them think doping can also concern children, therefore 33.6% had have to face this problem in the latest 12 months. For 86.5% of the questioned physicians, doping is a serious public health problem and 60% of them consider it as a kind of drug addiction. According to 60.9% of them, campaigns of prevention from doping are inefficient; and 92.5% would like to take part in it but 83.3% of them do not feel themselves prepared enough. The results are always similar with or without sports medicine diploma. Three different families of the physicians' attitudes are described. The physicians' involvement in doping prevention claims an action in two parts: to change their behaviours facing to doping they have to consider as any health issue, to provide them with prevention efficient "tools" for their sports patients. At last, considering doping as a public health issue and not only as a marginal practice restricted to the athletic elite is really essential.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child
  • Doping in Sports / prevention & control*
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires