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J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Jan;105(1):92-7.

Osteoporosis prevention education: behavior theories and calcium intake.

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Department of Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.


Osteoporosis is a worldwide health concern. Preventing osteoporosis, and subsequent fractures, has become a goal of many health care practitioners, especially dietetics professionals. However, few prevention models have proven effective. The goal of this project was to determine whether an educational, theory-based osteoporosis prevention program would significantly impact calcium intake. This project used a convenience sample of 42 women who participated in an 8-week educational intervention, similarly to a community class. The program included hands-on activities to increase self-efficacy and was based on the Health Belief Model and Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). The main outcome measures were calcium intake and constructs from the Health Belief Model and TRA. Significant changes in the Health Belief Model and TRA constructs at postintervention included increased perceived susceptibility to osteoporosis ( P <.001), perceived benefits to increasing calcium intake ( P <.001), and increased self-efficacy related to calcium intake ( P </=.003). Statistically significant regression equations were found for all preintervention intentions related to calcium. Postintervention calcium intake significantly increased to 821+/-372 mg/day ( P <.0001). Results of this project can be used as guidelines for dietetics professionals to develop osteoporosis prevention programs for their clientele.

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