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BMC Res Notes. 2009 Jul 14;2:133. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-2-133.

Measuring patient perceptions about osteoporosis pharmacotherapy.

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Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.



Adherence to osteoporosis pharmacotherapy is poor, and linked with patient perceptions of the benefits of, and barriers to taking these treatments. To better understand the association between patient perceptions and osteoporosis pharmacotherapy, we generated thirteen items that may tap into patient perceptions about the benefits of, and barriers to osteoporosis treatment; and included these items as part of a standardized telephone interview of women aged 65-90 years (n = 871). The purpose of this paper is to report the psychometric evaluation of our scale.


Upon detailed analysis, six of the thirteen items were omitted: four redundant, one did not correlate well with any other item and one factorial complex. From the remaining seven items, two distinct unidimensional domains emerged (variance explained = 78%). Internal consistency of the 5-item osteoporosis drug treatment benefits domain was good (Cronbach's alpha = 0.88), and was supported by construct validity; women reporting a physician-diagnosis or taking osteoporosis pharmacotherapy had higher osteoporosis treatment benefit scores compared to those reporting no osteoporosis diagnosis or treatment respectively. Because only two items were identified as tapping into treatment barriers, we recommend they each be used as a separate item assessing potential barriers to adherence to osteoporosis pharmacotherapy, rather than combined into a single scale.


The 5-item osteoporosis drug treatment benefits scale may be useful to examine perceptions about the benefits of osteoporosis pharmacotherapy. Further research is needed to develop scales that adequately measure perceived barriers to osteoporosis pharmacotherapy.

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