A cohort study of osteoporosis health knowledge and medication use in older adults with minimal trauma fracture

Michele Rose Levinson, Tina Marian Leeuwrik, John Charles Oldroyd, Margaret Staples

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We measured osteoporosis knowledge in an older adult population with minimal trauma fracture. At follow-up, health literacy and osteoporosis knowledge had not changed significantly from baseline, and 14 (23%) patients reported not taking any osteoporosis medication. Current osteoporosis care does not result in increased patient knowledge about their disease.

INTRODUCTION: We aimed to measure health literacy and osteoporosis knowledge in an older adult population with minimal trauma fracture (MTF).

METHODS: A cohort study with 3-month follow-up in Australia was conducted. Participants were hospital admissions with an MTF confirmed by X-ray. Main outcomes were the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM) and Osteoporosis Knowledge Assessment Tool (OKAT) scores. Supplementary data about osteoporosis knowledge, medication use and family practitioner visits regarding osteoporosis were obtained.

RESULTS: Complete data are available in 60 participants. On admission, 97% participants had high REALM scores [mean (range) 64.7 (46.66)] and low OKAT scores [8.83 (2.16)]. At follow-up, three (5%) participants had a further fracture. REALM and OKAT scores had not changed significantly from baseline. There was no association between OKAT score at follow-up and current treatment for osteoporosis, beliefs relating to treatment or bone health, and discussion with health care worker since discharge after adjusting for Mini Mental State Examination score. Health literacy or reading ability was not related to OKAT score.

CONCLUSIONS: Osteoporosis knowledge assessed by the OKAT did not improve in the 3months after MTF in this cohort of literate older adults, although there was some evidence of improvements in health beliefs. Current care in osteoporosis does not increase patient knowledge about their disease adequately which may impair patient effectiveness in obtaining appropriate treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Osteoporosis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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