Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

Knowledge gap regarding osteoporosis among medical professionals in Southern India

Early View

  • Author(s): Preyander Thakur, Cijoy Kuriakose, Kripa Elizabeth Cherian, Hesarghatta S. Asha, Nitin Kapoor, Thomas V. Paul
  • Article first published online: 06 May 2019
  • DOI: 10.1111/jep.13164
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Abstract Rationale, aims, and objectives Osteoporosis is a common health problem in India, which leads to significant morbidity and mortality in elderly individuals. Lack of knowledge and awareness among medical professionals is one of the important barriers in management of these patients. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess knowledge pertaining to diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis among a group of Indian medical practitioners. Methods The study participants included 222 allopathic medical professionals, either graduate or postgraduate working in primary or secondary health care levels. They were assessed using a previously validated Fogelman's multiple choice questionnaire. Out of a total of 18 questions, four questions pertained to knowledge of diagnosis, three questions to treatment decisions, one question to assess knowledge regarding recommended dosage of vitamin D and calcium supplementation, five questions concerned medication use, and the rest to assess attitude and practices. The correct answers were converted into scores and expressed as percentages with a maximum of 100. Results The mean total score among them was 22.5%, which was quite low. Almost all of them had a score of less than 50%. Medical practitioners performed better in diagnosis‐related questions, (19.4% answered all options correctly) than in medication knowledge (no correct response regarding side effects and 2% regarding contraindications). In treatment‐related decisions, 37.4% answered correctly for duration of treatment, and 59% answered correctly for treatment goal. Only 1.4% of them were able to answer correctly regarding recommended calcium and vitamin D intake. Professional literature, conferences, and Continuing Medical Education (CME's) were regarded as the main sources of information on the subject by 40% of practitioners. Conclusion This study showed suboptimal knowledge among a group of medical professionals regarding various aspects of diagnosis and management of osteoporosis, and it stipulates the need for escalating the efforts to improve their knowledge regarding various aspects of osteoporosis.

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