Background Osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures are among the major problems of elderly population. Although deaths related to bone disease usually have indirect causes it is assessed that approximately 20% patients dies due to complications within first year after hip fracture and another 30% need permanent care. Some of the risk factors of osteoporotic fracture can be modified by lifestyle (diet, habits, exercise) intervention. To introduce this modifications elderly people need to be aware of the burden, risk factors and preventive measures of osteoporosis. Healthy Aging Academy is an initiative of Healthy Aging Research Center at Medical University of Lodz, which one of the aims is to educate local community of elderly people.
Objectives The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge of elderly patients about osteoporosis, its risk factors, prevention measures and available treatment.
Methods The study group included 177 students (34 men and 143 women, mean age 69±10 years old) of Healthy Aging Academy. Students were asked to answer 22 questions grouped in 4 domains: questions regarding symptoms and burden of osteoporosis (6 questions), risk factors (8 questions), preventive measures (5 questions) and treatment (3 questions).
Results In total 177 participants filled questionnaire. The mean percentage of correct answers was 63±13% (range from 31% to 82%). The mean percentage of correct answers in the group of questions on symptoms and burden of osteoporosis was 54±14±13%. The mean percentage of correct answers on risk factors, preventive measures and treatment was 84±22%, 63±18% and 53±25% respectively. It has to be noticed that only 1/3 patients were aware about prevalence of osteoporosis and were convinced that bone pain is a symptom of osteoporosis preceding fracture. The sources of vitamin D and calcium were correctly identified only by 62% and 70% of students.
Conclusions Despite fact that our questionnaire was filled by group of relatively well educated and active elderly a significant proportion of subjects did not present adequate knowledge on treatment and preventive measures in osteoporosis.
Qi BB, Resnick B, Nahm ES. Reliability and validity of the revised Osteoporosis Knowledge Test.J Nurs Meas. 2014;22(2):342–56.
Díaz-Correa LM, Ramírez-García LM, Castro-Santana LE, Vilá LM. Osteoporosis knowledge in patients with a first fragility fracture in Puerto Rico. Bol Asoc Med P R. 2014;106(1):6–10.
Levinson MR, Leeuwrik T, Oldroyd JC, Staples M. A cohort study of osteoporosis health knowledge and medication use in older adults with minimal trauma fracture. Arch Osteoporos. 2012;7:87–92.
Acknowledgement The authors are partially supported by the Healthy Ageing Research Centre project (REGPOT-2012–2013–1,7FP).
Disclosure of Interest None declared