Ambiguity hindering self-management and prevention of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Archives of osteoporosis, 2020, 15, (1), pp. 73
Issue Date:
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As osteoporosis relies largely on self-managed prevention and adherence to long-term treatment regimens, it is imperative that those at risk understand the disease that they are attempting to prevent. Ambiguity regarding osteoporosis and reluctance to take anti-osteoporosis medication (AOM) as well as calcium was noted in Australian post-menopausal women. This may lead to underestimating women's own risk of osteoporosis and fracture. INTRODUCTION:Fragility fractures caused by osteoporosis have been known to inflict significant personal and financial burden on individuals and society. As treatment of osteoporosis relies largely on self-managed prevention and adherence to long-term AOM regimens, it is imperative that women have a sound understanding of the disease that they are attempting to prevent. Much can also be gained from qualitatively exploring the level of osteoporosis knowledge particularly in post-menopausal women who are at greater risk of osteoporosis and fractures. This study thus aims to determine what post-menopausal Australian women know about osteoporosis and osteoporosis prevention. METHOD:Six focus group sessions, using purposive sampling, were conducted with 23 female participants (mean age 68 years (range 62-83)). Women responded to a series of open-ended questions regarding their knowledge about osteoporosis. The audiotaped focus groups were transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic analysis framework. RESULTS:Three key themes were identified: ambiguity about the nature of osteoporosis, ambiguity about osteoporosis prevention and reluctance to take AOM and calcium. CONCLUSION:Ambiguity associated with risk and prevention may provide women with a false sense of security that they are adequately acting to prevent the disease. Underestimation of their risk of osteoporosis and fracture as well as reluctance associated with AOM may be barriers to osteoporotic fracture prevention.
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