Women's Actions Related to Health Behaviors after Receiving Bone Mineral Density Results: An Exploratory Study
Quinn, Courtney Elizabeth
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Bone densitometry is the only clinically acceptable and objective method for the accurate measurement of bone mineral density (BMD), bone mass, and the prediction of bone fracture risk. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the primary diagnostic bone densitometry tool used in clinical settings. A growing need exists to determine how health care professionals and women use the information obtained from DXA scans in the management of osteoporosis. Few studies have investigated physicians' recommendations and women's compliance related to detection and treatment of osteoporosis after receiving BMD results by DXA. No studies have investigated actions that women have taken after receiving BMD test results conducted by DXA. This descriptive, exploratory study assessed actions that women took and what they perceived their physicians did after receiving BMD results. Using a telephone survey, actions of 138 women, who participated in a previous study of bone health, were evaluated regarding osteoporosis detection, prevention, and treatment. Many women (62%) shared their BMD test results with health professionals. However, 75% of women with low BMD status and who shared their results with health care professionals reported that they did not receive recommendations for advanced tests. Moreover, these women did not receive recommendations for dietary intake changes (60%), medication use (72%), or other lifestyle changes (60%). Yet 58% of these women self-initiated behavioral changes after receiving their BMD test results. Of the women who changed their behaviors, 67% of postmenopausal women increased exercise. Ninety-two percent of these women indicated they would engage in BMD testing again.
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