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behavior change, Chinese immigrants, osteoporosis



  1. Qi, Bing-Bing
  2. Resnick, Barbara
  3. Smeltzer, Suzanne C.
  4. Bausell, Barker


Background: Recent Chinese immigrants have a low bone mineral density and are at a great risk for developing osteoporosis. The majority of Chinese men and women of all ages have inadequate information about their risks for developing osteoporosis and are seldom involved in preventive activities.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the preliminary effectiveness of an educational intervention based on the self-efficacy theory aimed at increasing the knowledge of osteoporosis and adoption of preventive behaviors, including regular exercise and osteoporosis medication adherence, designed for Chinese immigrants, aged 45 years or above, living in the United States.


Methods: A randomized controlled trial was employed, using a repeated-measure design. Foreign-born Mandarin-speaking Asians (n = 110) were recruited to the study, and 83 of them (mean age = 64.08 years, SD = 9.48 years) were assigned randomly to either the intervention group (n = 42) or the attention control group (n = 41). There were 63 (75.9%) women and 20 (24.1%) men. Data were collected at baseline and 2 weeks after the intervention.


Results: The participants who received the intervention had statistically significant improvements (p < .05) at 2 weeks postintervention with respect to osteoporosis-related knowledge, self-efficacy for exercise, and osteoporosis medication adherence. Moreover, the participants in the treatment group spent more time on moderate exercise, had higher energy expenditure on exercise, and had more osteoporosis medication use at 2 weeks postintervention when compared with controls.


Discussion: The intervention targeting Mandarin-speaking immigrants was effective in increasing the knowledge of osteoporosis and improving the adoption of preventive behaviors. Future research is needed to explore the long-term effect of this intervention on bone health behavior.