Community-based randomised controlled trial evaluating falls and osteoporosis risk management strategies
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BACKGROUND: Osteoporosis-related fractures are a significant public health concern. Interventions that increase detection and treatment of osteoporosis, as well as prevention of fractures and falls, are substantially underutilized. This paper outlines the protocol for a pragmatic randomised trial of a multifaceted community-based care program aimed at optimizing the evidence-based management of falls and fractures in patients at risk. DESIGN: 6-month randomised controlled study. METHODS: This population-based study was completed in the Algoma District of Ontario, Canada a geographically vast area with Sault Ste Marie (population 78,000) as its main city. Eligible patients were allocated to an immediate intervention protocol (IP) group, or a delayed intervention protocol (DP) group. The DP group received usual care for 6 months and then was crossed over to receive the interventions. Components of the intervention were directed at the physicians and their patients and included patient-specific recommendations for osteoporosis therapy as outlined by the clinical practice guidelines developed by Osteoporosis Canada, and falls risk assessment and treatment. Two primary outcomes were measured including implementation of appropriate osteoporosis and falls risk management. Secondary outcomes included quality of life and the number of falls, fractures, and hospital admissions over a twelve-month period. The patient is the unit of allocation and analysis. Analyses will be performed on an intention to treat basis. DISCUSSION: This paper outlines the protocol for a pragmatic randomised trial of a multi-faceted, community-based intervention to optimize the implementation of evidence based management for patients at risk for falls and osteoporosis. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial has been registered with clinicaltrials.gov (ID: NCT00465387).
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