Osteoporosis is a chronic disease that causes reduced density of the bones and thereby increases the risk of fracture. Approx. 172.000 Danish persons are diagnosed with osteoporosis but the number of persons with undiagnosed osteoporosis is expected to be two to three times higher. Osteoporosis can be both prevented and treated and besides that osteoporosis patients may benefit from patient education. Research has shown that patient education can increase the patients’ quality of life, physical activity, psychosocial functioning, and adherence to treatment.
22 of the 98 municipalities in Denmark offer osteoporosis patient education. Here osteoporosis patients meet in groups and get lessons in osteoporosis, diet, medication, pain, fracture prevention, and instructions in physical exercise. The municipalities have good experience with the programs, but they are not evaluated systematically across the municipalities. Though, an evaluation could examine the effects of osteoporosis patient education as well as how, when, and for whom it works. Besides that, an evaluation could be used for disseminating and targeting patient education so that more persons with osteoporosis could benefit from programs that fulfill their needs.
The project's aim
The aim of the project is to contribute with evidence about osteoporosis patient education. The project consists of three sub studies that answer these research questions:
- What is the existing national and international evidence on osteoporosis patient education?
- How does osteoporosis patient education in the Danish municipalities work, and when and for whom does it work?
- What is the potential effect of osteoporosis patient education in Danish municipalities?
The project applies different methods. In the first sub study a systematic review will be conducted. In the second sub study interviews will be made with experts, municipalities, and previous participants in patient education. The third sub study consists of an effect evaluation where data is generated from a register extraction as well as a questionnaire-based survey.
The municipalities will be contacted during spring 2021 regarding the data collection. The project is finished during autumn 2023.
The project is conducted in cooperation with National Research Center for Bone Health, Zealand University Hospital.