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Osteoporos Int. 2003 Apr;14(2):171-8. Epub 2003 Mar 4.

The impact of a simple fracture clinic intervention in improving the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in fragility fracture patients.

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Osteoporosis Research Program, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


We examined the effect of a fracture clinic intervention in reducing previously documented undertreatment of osteoporosis (OP) in individuals with fragility fractures. Fragility fracture patients presenting to five community fracture clinics with no prior diagnosis of, or treatment for OP, and whose radiographic appearance was consistent with fragility fracture, were included. These individuals (intervention group) were informed of their OP risk, and advised to follow up with their physician for assessment. A standardized letter, intended for the physician and outlining the same was provided. Three months later, a telephone interview determined whether a physician visit had occurred, and if so, what investigation and treatment recommendations were made. These outcomes were compared with those for an equal number of age- and sex-matched fragility fracture "controls," selected from among fracture clinic attendees in the 6-9 months preceding the intervention. Logistic regression was used to examine the effect of having received the intervention on physician follow-up, bone density testing, and OP treatment recommendations. The mean age of the 278 participants (139 per group) was 66.0 years; 74% were female. Adjusting for age, sex, hospital, and perceived diagnosis of OP, those who received the intervention were more likely to follow up with a physician (adjusted OR 1.85, p=0.02) and to be recommended bone density testing (adjusted OR 5.22, p<0.0001), but were not more likely to receive an OP treatment recommendation (adjusted OR 2.07, p=0.07). It is concluded that a simple fracture clinic intervention increased follow-up and investigation, but not treatment for OP, in fragility fracture patients. Individuals recommended treatment for OP were more likely to perceive themselves as having OP and to have had a previous fragility fracture. Our findings suggest that future interventions should incorporate assessment of patients' OP health beliefs and education about risk factors for fracture, and should be coupled with physician education to achieve optimal results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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