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J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2012 Jun;24(6):382-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2012.00700.x. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

FRAX® counseling for bone health behavior change in women 50 years of age and older.

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  • 1Department of Women, Children, & Family Health Science, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Peoria, IL 61604, USA.



To evaluate the use of FRAX® (Fracture risk assessment tool) for changes in bone health risk factors and treatment decision-making.


A convenience sample of seventeen women, 50 years and older, English-speaking, generally healthy, with the ability to perform weight-bearing exercise, presenting for a DXA scan in a Midwestern city between August 2009 and November 2009, and not already being treated for osteoporosis or osteopenia. Self-administered diet and exercise questionnaires were completed by participants, followed by individual counseling related to FRAX® absolute risk and NOF guidelines. Questionnaires were repeated at approximately three months later, along with a short survey regarding the information's impact.


FRAX® increased a participant's perception of future risk for osteoporosis and desire to change bone health habits. About 50% actually made changes in calcium and vitamin D consumption and weight-bearing exercise. FRAX® could not be applied to those with osteopenia of the spine only; and a variety of bone health risk factors not covered by FRAX® were identified.


The FRAX® risk assessment tool can be useful to motivate clients to change bone health behavior. However, it has limitations in its use as a tool for whether or not to prescribe bisphosphonates.

©2012 The Author(s) Journal compilation ©2012 American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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