Date of Award

5-12-2017

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Douglas W. Roblin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sheryl Strasser, Ph.D.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The older adult population is one of the largest and fastest growing population segments within the United States. With this rise in the older adult population, healthcare systems should work to prevent and treat conditions that disproportionately affect the elderly. Of the many conditions that typically begin onset in older adulthood, osteoporosis is one of the most prevalent. As the number of older adults rise, so will the number of osteoporosis cases. The clinical outcomes of osteoporosis, such fragility fractures, are associated with increased risk of death and an impaired quality of life and ability to interact with others socially. This qualitative review examines the reported effectiveness of healthcare provider interventions on osteoporosis patients.

METHODS: A qualitative review of peer-review articles was conducted. A total of 11 articles were included in this qualitative review. Pertinent information within each article was identified and compared. The intervention primary goals, inclusion criteria, state of assessment, nature of intervention, and results were all collected within this review. Study limitations were also noted to assist in future implications and research.

RESULTS: A large majority of the interventions utilized the role of nurses within the intervention to communicate with patients and initiate diagnosis or treatment within patients. Many of the interventions targeted older adults and utilized DXA as the assessment tool to assess bone mineral density. The literature is still inconclusive as to the most effective method to improving diagnosis or treatment of osteoporosis. There was no consistent pattern of positive improvement in osteoporosis management. Medication adherence was the most prominent challenge to patients involved in the interventions.

Recommendations: The interventions identified made strides to improving osteoporosis management by identifying the nurse’s role as an influencing form of social support. However, there is the need to also ensure patients are not only referred for specialized care, bone mineral density tests or prescribed prescriptions, but that patients are adherent to osteoporosis medications. Healthcare providers should work to close all gaps in osteoporosis management including areas of improvement not only influencing the provider, but behavioral changes for the patient as well.

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