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02-09-2010 | Bone health | Article

Community-based intervention improves osteoporosis management


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MedWire News: A multi-component intervention program directed at physicians, as well as patients at risk for fracture, can double the rate of appropriate osteoporosis management compared with usual care, a Canadian study has shown.

Interventions that increase detection and treatment of osteoporosis including therapy with calcium, vitamin D, and drugs that decrease bone resorption or increase bone formation are underutilized, say Sharon Straus (University of Toronto, Ontario) and colleagues.

To determine whether a multicomponent, community-based strategy could optimize the management of people at risk for osteoporosis-related fractures, Straus and team randomly allocated 201 patients (mean age 71.9 years) to an intervention group (n=101) or normal care (n=100).

Components of the intervention were directed toward primary care physicians and their patients, and included facilitated bone mineral density testing, patient education, and patient-specific recommendations for osteoporosis treatment.

The researchers report that more than twice as many patients with osteoporosis were taking alendronate, risedronate, or raloxifene in the intervention group after 6 months compared with the usual care group (56% vs 27%).

In addition, a higher proportion of patients in the intervention group were using calcium (54% vs 20%) and vitamin D (33% vs 20%) at 6 months compared with the usual care group.

"In summary, it is critical that the health care community address the deficiencies that exist with respect to knowledge translation and management of osteoporosis given the significant burden of disease related to fractures," write Straus and co-authors in the open access journal BMC Geriatrics.

They believe that these study results support implementation of a co-ordinated osteoporosis management strategy for improved care in at-risk individuals, but that long-term follow-up should be considered.

The team concludes: "Many of the assessment and treatment protocols used in this study could be employed in existing clinics and programs to enhance osteoporosis care in a community setting."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Laura Dean

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