Opinions and Experiences in General Practice on Osteoporosis Prevention, Diagnosis and Management
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We determined to survey the general practice population regarding their attitudes to and knowledge of osteoporosis as a baseline prior to publication of national guidelines for the management of osteoporosis. All 2515 general practitioners registered in the 10 Health Authorities of the North Thames region, London, UK were surveyed by a postal questionnaire. Responses relating to epidemiology, public health and education on osteoporosis were analyzed. The overall response was 1153 (46%). General practitioners who responded were younger, predominantly female and in group practice. There is considerable awareness of the importance of preventing osteoporosis. General practitioners are active in identifying groups at risk, particularly those who are aged 40 years and older. A prevention strategy for osteoporosis is viewed as effective. However, two thirds of general practitioners remain unconvinced about the efficacy of drug therapy. Education on osteoporosis is considered inadequate. General practitioners would welcome further information on management issues and access to osteoporosis services. In conclusion, educational initiatives will be important both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to increase awareness and knowledge of osteoporosis. General practitioners are aware of the public health impact of this condition and express a preference for educational material of direct relevance to the care of their patients. Therefore better cooperation between primary and secondary care should lead to ways of breaking down barriers to change in clinical practice and promoting fully integrated care of patients with osteoporosis.
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