Medication information and supply behaviours in elite and developing athletes

Danae Perry, Bronte Librizzi, Lily Ngu, Michael Ricciardello, Amy Street, Rhonda Clifford, Carmel Goodman, Peter Peeling, Sandra M. Salter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the behaviours of elite and developing athletes in obtaining medications and medication information, and to identify the role of pharmacists in athlete care. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. METHODS: An electronic, 39-item questionnaire was developed, piloted and distributed to elite and developing athletes aged 18 years and above at a state-based sporting institute. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and free text comments were analysed using an inductive reasoning approach. RESULTS: A total of 98 responses were analysed. Ninety (n=90/98, 91.84%) participants obtained medications in the six months prior to survey completion. Pharmacies were the most common source of both prescription (n=67/69, 97.10%) and non-prescription medications (n=64/75, 85.33%). Forty-five (n=45/98, 45.92%) participants also attended pharmacies when they had a minor ailment. Sixty-two (n=62/98, 63.27%) participants 'sometimes' consulted pharmacists for medication information. Only 11 (n=11/98, 11.22%) knew, according to their sporting institute medication policy, that athletes were required to consult a medical practitioner before taking anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving or sleep-inducing medications. Forty (n=40/98, 40.82%) participants believed pharmacists could play a role in their medication management. CONCLUSIONS: Many elite and developing athletes visited pharmacies for medication supply and treatment of minor ailments. Doping regulatory agency websites were the most commonly used and trusted sources for medication information, although some athletes believed pharmacists could also contribute to their medication management. Future research should consider whether pharmacists are ready for a role in sports pharmacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-553
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


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