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Evaluation of an osteoporosis self-referral program to enhance management outcomes

Evaluation of an osteoporosis self-referral program to enhance management outcomes

Journal of Clinical Densitometry 7(1): 77-84

Osteoporosis is a common but undertreated condition. While bone density is known to predict fracture risk, there is currently no economical way of measuring general population risk. This study examined whether an economical screening technique could improve diagnosis and lead to appropriate outcomes in the management of osteoporosis. A self-referral program was established to provide women with information about osteoporosis and an individualized risk assignment. A high-risk designation was provided for postmenopausal women below the lower tertile of a calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) (< or = 58 db/MHz) or those with a SCORE value > or = 6. A telephone survey was conducted 6 mo after program registration to evaluate osteoporosis management outcomes. Of 271 women surveyed, 181 (67%) were postmenopausal and thus potential candidates for estrogen replacement, and 21% and 63% were assigned a high-risk profile by either calcaneal ultrasound or SCORE, respectively. Women at higher risk were significantly more likely to discuss osteoporosis with their family physician (p < 0.001), and to undergo further testing with dual X-ray absorptiometry measurement (p < 0.005). Utilization of estrogen replacement by postmenopausal women at time of survey was significantly increased compared to registration (p = 0.01). The self-referral program positively impacted decisions women made about preventing osteoporosis, particularly if they considered themselves at higher risk.

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Accession: 048994524

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PMID: 14742891

DOI: 10.1385/jcd:7:1:77

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