, Volume 27, Issue 12, pp 999-1008
Date: 31 Aug 2012

Older Women’s Views about Prescription Osteoporosis Medication

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Abstract

Background: Osteoporosis is a significant health problem, especially for older women. Prescription osteoporosis medication can reduce fractures, but many women do not accept treatment or discontinue treatment before benefits are achieved.

Objectives: To explore older women’s views about prescription osteoporosis medication use in depth and to identify specific beliefs and experiences that influence these views.

Methods: We conducted in-depth telephone interviews with women aged ≥65 years with clinically confirmed osteoporosis. Interviewees were asked about their beliefs and experiences related to osteoporosis and osteoporosis treatment. Interviews were recorded and transcribed; key themes were identified using qualitative analysis.

Results: Perceived need, medication effectiveness and medication safety were identified as critical influences on women’s views about prescription osteoporosis medication. These perceptions were in turn influenced by various beliefs, experiences and behaviours, including interactions with the physician, personal experience and behaviours, and vicarious experience.

Conclusions: Older women with osteoporosis need clear information about their condition, including the diagnosis, the implications of the diagnosis, treatment options, medication effectiveness and side effects. Physicians should check with their patients to confirm understanding and address concerns, as older women may not always voice their reservations and concerns.