Patient education Osteopenia,  Osteoporosis

Patient education Osteopenia , Osteoporosis is crucial for those recently  diagnosed with bone loss. 

Persons with loss of bone density need to make some changes in their daily activities - in what they eat and drink, in how they spend their spare time.

Since there are no symptoms felt for these medical conditions, Patient education Osteopenia, Osteoporosis is the key to good health and reduced fracture rate. 

Studies have shown that even those with the more advanced bone loss, those who at significant risk of bone fracture often stop their prescribed treatment after a few short months. unless they receive clear and accurate information as well follow up.

Need is there for Patient education Osteopenia, Osteoporosis?

Most women and men who are given reading materials about bone loss and what can be done about it, do read the material and tend to be more compliant with treatment plans. But a simple pamphlet and 10 minutes in the office is not enough.

The June 2014 issue of the International Journal of Women's Health, published a study by Ankita Modi, Shiva Sajjan, and Sampada Gandhi titled, "Challenges in implementing and maintaining osteoporosis therapy" in which they note that: the very old, and "men in whom

osteoporosis remains under-recognized; patients with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis or renal impairment, who are at increased risk of fracture; patients with preexisting gastrointestinal problems who cannot tolerate existing orally administered osteoporosis therapies; and high-risk patients who show inadequate response to therapy"

all need special Patient education Osteopenia, Osteoporosis. ..... "Moreover, poor adherence and poor persistence with osteoporosis medications are common and result in an increased risk of fracture, higher medical costs, and increased hospitalizations."

What are the main elements for Patient education: Osteopenia, Osteoporosis?

Any effective Patient education program needs to cover 5 things:

1. Patients need to understand what the term Osteopenia means. This should be explainedwith the person looking at the results of his or her Dexa Scan.

Explain that that this test measures bone density and then compares the patients bone density with that of healthy 35 year olds ( usually a peak time in bone strenght) as well as with his or her own age group.

Show the patient where the T sconre is on the results page. The tell them that: If a T score is between +1 and -1, bone density is said to be normal. But if a T score is between -1 and -2.5, bone density is said to be Osteopenic. Below -2.5 is defined as Osteoporosis.

You can show them their Z score but be sure to explain that this is not very helpful since it compares them with their age group and if many people in their age group have fragile bones and are subject to fracture, the patient may have a high Z score ....but this does nothing to change the fact that their lower T scors shows them that they are at risk of fracture and of developing Osteoporosis or porous bones. 

2. It is important to explain to your client, that recent studies have shown that Osteopenia puts them at risk for fractures too. Explain that if they suffer a hip fracture because of low bone density, they may lose their independence. (It has been found that retaining independence is a high motivating factor for compliance with a bone building plan.)

3.It is also important in any Patient education Osteopenia to let patients know that they can decrease their risk of fracture by some simple changes in life style:

a. avoiding caffeine, using little alcohol and eliminating soda pop (which often upsets the phosphorous balance)

b. adding or increasing weight bearing activities.

c. taking supplemental calcium AND that a supplement that combines calcium, Vitamin D3, magnesium, boron, Vit K is better than just adding calcium. That these supplements should be taken with meals and it is good to take some in the evening since pth is most active at night.

4. Is this all to Patient Education Osteopenia? No, you  want your clients to continue their own education. It is worth giving them a list of books that they can read. See: Osteopenia Books .

Or for those who use a computer, you may want to give them this web site. It is one of the few comprehensive web sites dedicated to Patient Education Osteopenia and not Osteoporosis.

The next time you see your client, ask what they have learned on their own. Ask if they have developed any new habits: how much they exercise and what kind of exercise they do; whether they are taking supplements and if so when they take them; if they have made any changes in their eating habits. Impress on your client how important their working at building stronger bones is....that they do not want to lose their independence because of fractures.

5. Each time you meet with your client, be sure to ask what they are doing to help strengthen their bones. And when you do the 2 year follow up of the dexa scan be sure to go over the results with your client present.

If your client has gained any bone density, be sure to make the connection between lifestyle habits and this increase AND that if they continue, they may get out of risk. This is very important because there is a tendency to slide back into old ways when an improvement is seen. The patient thinks, OH,I am OK now.

If the bone density shows no improvement BUT also shows no worsening of the condition be sure to explain that this is a positive result. That one would normally expect a 2-4% additional loss in a two year period and her compliance has slowed or stopped that loss. Such Patient education Osteopenia will pay off in higher compliance and better bone health.

To find some specific articles that will be helpful to understanding the life style changes that can increase bone density, go to the Index page of this site since it offers many articles bearing on Patient education Osteopenia