Male and Non-English-Speaking Patients with Fracture Have Poorer Knowledge of Osteoporosis

Wilson, Ruth K.; Tomlinson, George; Stas, Venessa; Ridout, Rowena; Mahomed, Nizar; Gross, Allan; Cheung, Angela M.
April 2011
Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, American Volume;4/20/2011, Vol. 93-A Issue 8, p766
Academic Journal
Background: Prior fracture is a strong independent risk factor for subsequent fracture. To date, few studies have examined the level of osteoporosis knowledge specifically in the population of patients who have sustained a fracture. This study was designed to assess the knowledge of osteoporosis among patients who sustained a fracture and who were forty years of age or older, as well as to identify what social factors and health and fracture characteristics determine the level of osteoporosis knowledge in this population. Methods: Patients who had sustained a fracture and were attending fracture clinics at two Toronto hospitals were identified and invited to fill out a questionnaire during their visit. This questionnaire included questions that could be answered by checking "true," false," or "don't know" and that were designed to assess the patient's knowledge of osteoporosis. The questionnaire also included questions about the respondent's background. Results: Of 259 patients identified as eligible for the study, 204 (78.8%) agreed to participate. The mean number of correct responses was 16.5 (55%) out of thirty responses. Variables significantly associated with greater numbers of correct responses were female sex, English as a first language, being currently employed, exercising regularly, and having received information from a health-care provider or from a newspaper or magazine. Conclusions: The level of osteoporosis knowledge was fairly low among the surveyed patients, indicating that more education is needed. This study also highlighted certain characteristics (i.e., male sex, English as a second language, being unemployed, and not exercising) that are associated with a lower level of knowledge. Our results can help target certain groups for osteoporosis educational initiatives, especially ethnic groups whose first language is not English, so as to appropriately reduce the risk of future fractures in this high-risk population.


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