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Maturitas. 2006 May 20;54(2):127-34. Epub 2005 Oct 27.

Exploring factors influencing osteoporosis prevention and control: a qualitative study of Iranian men and women in Australia.

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Bone and Mineral Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St. Vincent's Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.



To explore the understanding of osteoporosis risk factors and barriers that influence osteoporosis prevention and control in order to better inform the development of culturally appropriate osteoporosis preventive strategies.


This qualitative study was based on data collected from 5 focus groups, 10 individual interviews and 3 opportunistic group discussions of Iranian men and women living in Australia. A thematic analysis approach was used and data were managed with a computer-assisted program. Data were collected over 1 year in community settings chosen by participants.


The participants had insufficient understanding of osteoporosis risk factors and its implications for their health as they age. There were minor misconceptions about the causes of the disease and how it could be prevented and controlled. Many participants confused osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Where they did indicate some knowledge of preventive actions, they perceived many obstacles to their undertaking preventive behaviours.


These data suggest that factors adversely influencing osteoporosis prevention and control have their root in misconceptions about osteoporosis and its risk factors, and psychosocial and structural barriers to taking preventive actions. These findings provide insights into barriers that need to be overcome if preventive strategies and intervention programs can be developed to reduce the overall burden of osteoporosis in the community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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