, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 115-127

Knowledge about osteoporosis: assessment, correlates and outcomes

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Abstract

During the last 10 years, we have witnessed an impressive increase in the number of studies examining knowledge about osteoporosis. The aim of the present paper is to examine the status of research on knowledge about osteoporosis by reviewing and analyzing the current literature as it pertains to assessment of knowledge about osteoporosis, factors associated with knowledge, and relationship between knowledge about osteoporosis and participation in health-related behaviors. Finally, future directions in the field are discussed. Many of the studies are still characterized by the lack of a theoretical framework, as well as by various methodological flaws. Serious deficits in knowledge are reported among healthy and diagnosed women and men, as well as among health professionals. Educational interventions are accompanied by an increase in knowledge, but no change in behavior. There is need to expand the research on knowledge about osteoporosis, especially in an effort to increase its impact on the prevention and early diagnosis of the disease. The deficits found in the knowledge of both the general population and among health care professionals, should be addressed by providing updated and reliable information through appropriate health promotion and professional venues.