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BACKGROUND: To evaluate osteoporosis knowledge among patients with fractures and to evaluate factors associated with osteoporosis knowledge.
METHODS: Patients with fragility fractures participated in a telephone interview. Participants were asked what they thought osteoporosis was. Unadjusted odds ratios (OR, 95% CI) were calculated to identify factors associated with a correct definition. Predictors identified in univariate analysis were entered into multivariable logistic regression models. A subset also completed the Facts on Osteoporosis Quiz.
RESULTS: One hundred twenty-seven patients (82% women) participated in the study, with mean (SD) age being 67.5 (12.7) years. Ninety-five (75%) respondents gave correct osteoporosis definitions. The odds of an individual providing a correct definition of osteoporosis were higher for those who reported a diagnosis of osteoporosis or those who reported higher education levels, but the odds decreased with increasing age. A total of 49 (39%) respondents completed the Facts on Osteoporosis Quiz; the average score was 13.6 (3.8) of 21. Areas that respondents scored poorly on were related to key risk factors.
CONCLUSION: Many patients with fractures are unaware of important risk factors. Education initiatives aimed at improving osteoporosis knowledge should be directed at individuals at high risk of fracture. Nurses and other allied healthcare providers working in fracture clinics, acute care, and rehabilitation settings are in an ideal position to communicate information about osteoporosis and fracture risk to individuals with a recent fragility fracture.
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