Development and validation of the appearance and performance enhancing drug use schedule

Tom Hildebrandt, James W. Langenbucher, Justine Karmin Lai, Katharine L. Loeb, Eric Hollander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Appearance-and-performance enhancing drug (APED) use is a form of drug use that includes use of a wide range of substances such as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AASs) and associated behaviors including intense exercise and dietary control. To date, there are no reliable or valid measures of the core features of APED use. The present study describes the development and psychometric evaluation of the Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drug Use Schedule (APEDUS) which is a semi-structured interview designed to assess the spectrum of drug use and related features of APED use. Eighty-five current APED using men and women (having used an illicit APED in the past year and planning to use an illicit APED in the future) completed the APEDUS and measures of convergent and divergent validity. Inter-rater agreement, scale reliability, one-week test-retest reliability, convergent and divergent validity, and construct validity were evaluated for each of the APEDUS scales. The APEDUS is a modular interview with 10 sections designed to assess the core drug and non-drug phenomena associated with APED use. All scales and individual items demonstrated high inter-rater agreement and reliability. Individual scales significantly correlated with convergent measures (DSM-IV diagnoses, aggression, impulsivity, eating disorder pathology) and were uncorrelated with a measure of social desirability. APEDUS subscale scores were also accurate measures of AAS dependence. The APEDUS is a reliable and valid measure of APED phenomena and an accurate measure of the core pathology associated with APED use. Issues with assessing APED use are considered and future research is considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-958
Number of pages10
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Anabolic-androgenic steroid
  • Appearance and performance enhancing drug use
  • Body image disturbance
  • Compulsive exercise
  • Polysubstance use
  • Psychometrics


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