Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 94, Issue 6, pp 427–430 | Cite as

Breaking — Bad News

Women’s Experiences of Fractures at Midlife
  • Lynn M. Meadows
  • Linda A. Mrkonjic



To gain understanding of the experiences and sequelae of fractures in women aged 40–65 years and to assess whether it is linked to overall bone health assessment.


A qualitative study using face-to-face indepth interviews.


Contrary to the common belief that fractures are benign, for middle-aged women, fractures have a significant impact on their well-being in both the short and long term. Women report significant pain as well as an immediate need for help from family and professional caregivers. They experience interruptions to daily and leisure activities, employment, daily life and mobility. Only a minority of women and/or their family physicians initiated follow up to investigate bone health subsequent to the fracture.


Bone health is often examined in the context of already established bone disease. This study suggests a need for a closer examination of fracture treatment in the context of preventive care, and early detection of osteoporosis.



Comprendre l’expérience et les séquelles des fractures chez les femmes de 40 à 65 ans et déterminer les liens possibles avec l’évaluation générale de leur santé osseuse.


Étude qualitative à l’aide d’entretiens en profondeur menés de face à face.


Contrairement à l’opinion répandue voulant qu’elles soient bénignes, les fractures ont d’importantes répercussions, à court et à long terme, sur le bien-être des femmes d’âge moyen. Ces femmes signalent une douleur importante, ainsi qu’un besoin immédiat de recevoir l’aide de leur famille et de pouvoyeurs de soins professionnels. Leurs activités et leurs loisirs quotidiens, leur emploi, leur vie quotidienne et leur mobilité sont perturbés. Seule une minorité de ces femmes et/ou de leurs médecins de famille font un suivi pour évaluer la santé osseuse après la fracture.


On étudie souvent la santé des os dans le contexte d’une maladie osseuse déjà établie. Notre étude suggère qu’il faudrait se pencher sur le traitement des fractures dans le contexte des soins préventifs et du dépistage précoce de l’ostéoporose.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Departments of Surgery and Community Health SciencesCanada

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