A new tool to help primary care providers talk to their patients about osteoporosis and the risk of breaking a bone
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation (BHOF) in the United States have created a simple visual tool to help primary care clinicians start a conversation about osteoporosis and fracture risk with their patients during a medical consultation.
The tool is available in PDF format and in a number of languages. It has a list of key questions for assessing osteoporosis and fracture risk, as well as a screening and management algorithm based on either UK or US guidelines.
Key messages are supplied to aid clinicians in explaining the treatment’s benefits versus the possibility of uncommon side effects. It is accompanied by visual aids to assist patients in viewing and comprehending the risk versus benefit discussion.
Professor Nicholas Harvey, Chair of the IOF Scientific Advisory Committee, said:
Many primary care providers fail to discuss or evaluate the bone health of their patients over the age of 50, despite the fact that most people do not know they have osteoporosis until they have a fracture.
We hope that by using this new tool, primary care providers will be encouraged to talk to their patients about their bone health and engage in constructive dialogue that will improve their patients’ understanding of fracture risk and the benefits of sticking to anti-osteoporosis treatment. “
Fractures caused by osteoporosis have a significant impact on health, independence, and survival. People with osteoporosis often don’t realize how serious a broken bone is or how important treatment for osteoporosis is to reduce fracture risk.
Patients, on the other hand, frequently overestimate the occurrence of serious side effects associated with osteoporosis medications. Because of this, the number of people who start taking anti-osteoporosis drugs and keep taking them is very low in the United States and around the world.
By listening to their patients’ concerns and through clear communication and dialogue about osteoporosis and fracture risk, physicians can encourage patient involvement in treatment decisions, thereby improving patient understanding and adherence to medication, said Andrea Singer, MD, BHOF chief medical officer.
We anticipate that the new BHOF Osteoporosis and Fracture Evaluation Tool will be extensively used to help patients and doctors talk about fracture risk and the benefits of anti-osteoporosis treatment, which can be provided as part of a comprehensive management plan that also includes nutrition and exercise.