Gemalmaz, A. & Oge, A. Clin Rheumatol (2008) 27: 723. doi:10.1007/s10067-007-0777-9
The aim of this study is to evaluate the awareness, perception, sources of information, and knowledge of osteoporosis in a sample of rural Turkish women, to examine the factors related to their knowledge, and organize effective education programs. A total of 768 women mean age 53.6 ± 8.2 (40–70) were randomly selected and interviewed during their visits to primary care centers in three rural towns in West Anatolia. A structured questionnaire was administered by trained nurses. Chi-squared test was performed in age and educational level groups for revealing factors influencing the awareness, perception, and knowledge sources of osteoporosis. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) analysis was carried out in calculating the difference of knowledge scores among groups. Of the women, 60.8% had heard of and 44.9% had the correct definition for osteoporosis. Awareness and accurate definition of osteoporosis was high in younger and high educated women (p < 0.001). Television was the main source of knowledge with the rate of 55%, doctors and nurses/midwives were the second and third sources, respectively. Osteoporosis knowledge was low with a mean score of 5.52 out of 20. Younger and more educated women had higher knowledge scores. Low calcium in diet and menopause were the first two risk factors chosen for osteoporosis. Knowledge about osteoporosis among rural Turkish women is low, and majority of women are unaware of the risk factors and consequences of osteoporosis. Therefore, appropriate educational programs should be planned according to community needs, and the target of these programs should be less educated and older women.