Indexed on: 21 Nov '20Published on: 12 Sep '19Published in: Nursing Forum
Osteoporosis is one of the most under-diagnosed and under-treated health conditions in Canada. This study questioned whether an invitation to self-refer for osteoporosis risk evaluation would improve the number of patients who were tested for bone mineral density (BMD) at a rural Primary Health Care Center (PHCC). The purpose of this study is to improve osteoporosis care and decrease bone fracture risk in a population of patients 65 years of age and older. A quasi-experimental research design was used to review screening rates of BMD testing and identified patients in this population who were at low, moderate, and high risk for developing osteoporosis. Screening rates at the PHCC were compared to screening rates at another rural PHCC in the province. The self-referral program for BMD testing and a nurse-led intervention resulted in an increased number of people who were BMD tested at the study PHCC compared with the control PHCC, and identified more male patients 65 years of age and older who were at risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. Recommendations suggest future research in other provincial PHCCs that may encourage self-referral programs for BMD testing and improved osteoporosis care for patients 65 years of age and older. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.