216736 Perceptions and policies of college directors of recreation regarding the use of dietary supplements and performance enhancing substances

Monday, November 8, 2010

Philip Welch, MA , Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Amy J. Thompson, PhD, CHES , Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Purpose: Dietary supplement (DS) use among U.S. adults has increased dramatically in the past decade. Americans spend over $20 billion dollars annually on DS. Additionally, the use of performance enhancing substances (PES) by athletes has been widely publicized in the media. College Directors of Recreation are charged with setting policies intended to keep patrons reasonably safe from harm. However, little is known about the perceptions, practices, and policies of Directors of Recreation regarding the use of DS and PES in their facilities. Methods: A cross-sectional survey design using a three-wave mailing technique was employed. A $1 incentive was used in the first wave of the mailings to increase response rate. A valid and reliable 40-item instrument was sent to a stratified, systematic random sample of 600 Directors of Recreation in the U.S. Results: The response rate was 50%. Results showed that, despite concern for student use of DS and PES, over 10% of college recreation facilities sell DS to students. Less than 1% of the Directors of Recreation surveyed correctly identified the common signs of PES use. Additionally, 80% did not have a written PES policy, 90% had no written DS policy, 63% had no formal education on PES, and 68% had no formal education on DS. Bivariate and multivariate results will be reported. Conclusions: Public health professionals should work closely with college Directors of Recreation to inform them about the warning signs of PES use and the potential dangers of providing DS to patrons, including legal ramifications.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. List at least five common warning signs of performance enhancing substance use. 2. Discuss current trends in dietary supplement use in college recreation facilities in the U.S. 3. Describe the extent of written policies surrounding performance enhancing substance use in college recreation facilities in the U.S.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have seven years of experience in the field of exercise science and recreation center management, I have presented research at several state and national conferences in the past, and I am currently completing my dissertation in the area of public health policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.