U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Drugs
  3. Drug Safety and Availability
  4. Safe Use Initiative
  5. Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances Simulated Conversation for Health Professionals
  1. Safe Use Initiative

Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances Simulated Conversation for Health Professionals

Performer: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Principal Investigator:
Anjie Emanuel, MPH

Project Duration: 9/30/15-9/29/17

Regulatory Science Challenge

The term “performance enhancing substances” has been traditionally used to describe drugs and supplements used to improve athletic performance. There is recent evidence showing that many non-athletes also use many of these substances with the intention to improve cognitive performance or appearance, and such current trends support a broadening of the terminology to “appearance and performance enhancing substances” (APES). APES include a wide spectrum of drugs and supplements. In addition to directly causing a variety of health risks, the initial use of APES may reduce barriers to future non-therapeutic use of anabolic steroids and recreational drugs, as well as other risk-taking behaviors. Nevertheless, APES screening, prevention, and education present unique challenges for healthcare professionals.

Project Description

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) aims to develop a continuing education (CE) credit-approved digital simulation in partnership with Kognito, with the goal of building awareness and reducing behaviors that lead to the use of APES. This simulation intends to help pediatric healthcare providers develop and assess their competencies in managing conversations with parents and adolescents regarding APES, and it will consist of didactic content about APES, two simulated conversations, and a resources section. Following the launch of the digital simulation, the success of the program dissemination will be assessed, and an evaluation will be conducted among users who elect to claim CE credit to examine the learning experience.

Project Goals

  • Provide a CE credit-approved digital simulation to pediatric healthcare providers to develop their knowledge on APES and their capacity in counseling patients and families about APES
  • Conduct descriptive analyses on the digital simulation to examine satisfaction with the learning experience and perceived applicability to practice


Back to Top