An Interpretive Descriptive Approach to Understanding Osteoporosis Management from the Perspective of People at Risk of Fracturing Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose

    Adherence to both non-pharmacological and pharmacological fracture prevention interventions is often low in people with osteoporosis. Understanding how patients acquire information about osteoporosis management is important for understanding both the initial decision-making and ongoing adherence. This study explored the narrative of people living with osteoporosis and their personal experience getting information about their osteoporosis management.


    An interpretive descriptive method was used for this qualitative study. In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 Canadian participants (age range 51-90) who knew that they had osteoporosis or osteopenia. Participants were asked to participate in one-on-one interviews to address the type of health professionals providing osteoporosis management advice focusing specifically on advice received about exercise, nutrition, and falls prevention. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded sentence-by-sentence.


    People with osteoporosis rely on physicians for advice related to pharmacological treatment needs, and other health professionals for non-pharmacological needs such as exercise advice, nutrition advice, and falls prevention advice. People value non-professionals, such as family members and close friends, who may or may not have osteoporosis, to discuss or corroborate health professional advice, or to validate their belief system.


    Training patients to more effectively engage in conversations with their healthcare providers may be a strategy to improve the quality of communication and its translation into adherence to best practices in managing osteoporosis.

publication date

  • January 2022