Patient-Provider Communication, Substance Use 03.28.2017

Talking with Teens about Performance Enhancing Substances

The American Academy of Pediatrics and Kognito partnered to address the use of appearance and performance-enhancing substances among youths.


The use of appearance and performance-enhancing substances among youth has increased tremendously over the past decade. Child health professionals need to be aware of the use of this trend among pediatric patients; be prepared to identify risk factors, signs, and symptoms; screening patients; and offer anticipatory guidance related to substance use.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and Kognito partnered to address this important gap in clinical training with a first-of-its-kind role-play simulation designed to prepare pediatricians, family physicians, and other child health professionals to lead real-life conversations with teens about performance enhancing substances and build their motivation to quit. This innovative simulation engages users in role-play conversations with three emotionally-responsive virtual patients presenting with signs of use of appearance- and performance-enhancing substances. Playing the role of health professional in the simulation, users choose what to say to the virtual patient; how to respond to their hesitations, misconceptions and resistance; and how to use motivational interviewing techniques to encourage them to change their behavior. At the end of each role-play conversation, a personalized reporting dashboard provides users with feedback on their performance in the conversation to support their ongoing pursuit of skills building. Continuing Medical Education credits are available for the simulation.