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Social Media May Cause Emergent SARMs Abuse by Athletes: A Content Quality Analysis of the Most Popular YouTube Videos

Phys Sportsmed. 2022 Jul 30. doi: 10.1080/00913847.2022.2108352. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) social media interest is at an all-time high. The aim of this study is to analyze the: (1) quality; (2) educational content; and (3) reliability of the most relevant YouTube videos on SARMs to explain growing SARMs abuse by recreational and professional athletes.

METHODS: ‘SARMs’ was queried (November 28, 2021) through the YouTube video library. The top 100 videos filtered by relevance were categorized by source, type of content, educational quality by Global Quality Score (GQS), reliability by Journal of American Medicine Association (JAMA) criteria, YouTube tags, attitude towards SARMs use, and whether the video provided specific support on how to use SARMs. For all outcome variables, descriptive statistics and comparison among source types and category types were performed.

RESULTS: Mean JAMA score was 1.6 ± 0.7 out of 4. Mean GQS score was 2.5 ± 1.1 out of 5. Patient videos were of lower educational quality than athletic trainer videos (GQS: 2.11 ± 0.95 vs. 2.95 ± 1.00, p < 0.01), and videos categorized as user experience were of lower educational quality than videos categorized as general SARMs information (GQS: 1.92 ± 0.90 vs. 2.72 ± 1.07, p < 0.05). User experience and dosing recommendation videos were statistically significantly more positive in attitude than both general SARMs information and SARMS vs. other PEDs.

CONCLUSION: Quality, content, and reliability of SARMs YouTube videos was low. Social media likely causes SARMs abuse through disseminating biased SARMs misinformation. These results serve to educate public health oversight bodies, healthcare providers, and sports team members to better identify signs of SARMs abuse, and promote discussion to discourage SARMs abuse.

PMID:35912528 | DOI:10.1080/00913847.2022.2108352

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