According to the findings of a research published in the Medical Journal of Australia, only 40 per cent of patients with fracture are aware of their risks of osteoporosis - which is likely to be a hurdle for patients in the management of their risks, and their medical review.
Dr Charles Inderjeeth, geriatrician and rheumatologist at the North Metropolitan Area Health Service, Perth along with colleagues applied and assessed a multimodal intervention to better osteoporosis treatment in patients dismissed from and emergency department due to fragility fracture.
Following the implementation of the intervention, statistics showed that the rate of bone mineral densitometry investigations increased from 3 per cent to 45 per cent, the number of patients receiving vitamin D and calcium supplements increased from 12 per cent to 37 per cent and 12 per cent to 33 per cent, and also an improvement from 6 per cent to 30 per cent for the initiation of specific osteoporosis treatments.
However, despite this hopeful improvements, Dr Inderjeeth stated that only a minority of patients were aware of osteoporosis, although physicians admitted and accepted that it was their duty to check and treat their patients, and educate them of the risks.
Dr Inderjeeth says, The persistent low level of awareness of osteoporosis remains a significant concern and is likely to remain a barrier seeking medical review and accepting and complying with preventive treatment.
He said, most emergency departments and orthopaedic clinicians claimed that time and resources were primary barriers to better the quality of care for osteoporosis.
But, perhaps the preoccupations with more acute issues of pain, comorbidity and anxiety in the setting that are not suitable for offering patients educational facts about fracture prevention and osteoporosis.
He stated that 84 per cent of patients referred to the Fragile Bone Clinic presented for osteoporosis review following the contact by a fracture liaison nurse.
The use of a fracture liaison nurse may be the wisest method to offer a potential for improving education and follow-up and treatment for patients.