, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 981-989
Date: 28 Feb 2007

Psychometric properties of the “Osteoporosis and You” questionnaire: osteoporosis knowledge deficits among older community-dwelling women

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In older women, knowledge about risk factors for osteoporosis was good, with over 75% responding correctly to questions about lifestyle factors, family history, height loss, and menopausal status. However, significant knowledge deficits were identified regarding osteoporosis “consequences” and “prevention and treatment.”


We examined osteoporosis knowledge by testing the psychometric properties of the 10-item knowledge component of the “Osteoporosis and You” questionnaire. Several knowledge domains were hypothesized.


Community-dwelling women aged 65–90 years residing within two regions of Ontario, Canada were studied (N = 869). Data were collected by standardized telephone interviews in 2003 and 2004. Items to which 75% or more responded correctly were identified as having a low index of difficulty; the remaining items identified areas of knowledge deficit. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test scale structure.


Six of the ten items had a low index of difficulty. These items largely examined osteoporosis risk factors. The remaining four items identified significant knowledge deficits in the areas of osteoporosis consequences, prevention, and treatment. Confirmatory factor analysis identified four distinct osteoporosis knowledge domains. However, the internal consistency was low for all but one domain, which examined “prevention and treatment.”


Although older women appear to be aware of osteoporosis risk factors, knowledge deficits regarding the consequences of osteoporosis and that treatment exists to prevent bone loss were identified. Better understanding of the multi-dimensional aspects of osteoporosis knowledge may help to inform the development of effective educational interventions.