Current Osteoporosis Reports

, 9:141

The Role of Risk Communication in the Care of Osteoporosis



Risk assessment and communication of risk are essential components in the care of patients with osteoporosis. The risk of fracture in an untreated patient can be estimated with measurement of bone mineral density, consideration of clinical risk factors, and the use of a validated fracture risk assessment algorithm. When fracture risk is high, pharmacologic therapy to reduce the risk of fracture is indicated, provided no contraindications are present. Initiation, compliance, and persistence with therapy may be enhanced when the patient fully understands the risk of fracture if no treatment is given, as well as the expected benefit and potential risks of treatment. Optimal clinical outcomes with treatment may in part depend on the clinician’s skill in communicating risk with the patient, understanding the patient’s concerns, and reaching a collaborative treatment decision that is medically reasonable and acceptable to the patient.


Osteoporosis Treatment Risk Benefit Fracture Drugs Risk Risk communication 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New Mexico Clinical Research & Osteoporosis CenterAlbuquerqueUSA

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