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Dedicated osteoporosis health professionals can effectively screen and treat outpatients with acute low trauma fractures

Bell K, Strand H, Inder WJ. Effect of a dedicated osteoporosis health professional on screening and treatment in outpatients presenting with acute low trauma non-hip fracture: a systematic review, Archives of Osteoporosis, 2014, 9, 167.

Review question

What is the effectiveness of a dedicated osteoporosis health professional in screening and treating outpatients with acute low trauma fracture?

Background

Osteoporosis is a common and disabling bone disease which results in reduced bone density and an increased risk of fracture.

A fracture that results from osteoporosis (also known as a fragility fracture) is associated with low bone mineral density and can include fractures of the hip, vertebrae and wrist. Such fractures lead to pain, disability and increased mortality.

It is unclear whether a dedicated osteoporosis health professional who provides education and recommendations to patients with low trauma fractures in an outpatient setting is effective for identifying and initiating investigations and treatment of osteoporosis.

How the review was done

Several electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed studies published between January 2000 and April 2013.

Eligible studies focused on low trauma non-hip fractures among patients aged between 40 and 100 years.

A total of 861 documents were identified in searches, and 18 studies were deemed eligible to be included in the review.

The salary of one author was partially funded by an unrestricted grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and a second author received speaker honoraria from Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Amgen, and travel grants from Novartis Pharmaceuticals. These companies manufacture products used in the treatment of osteoporosis.

What the researchers found

The studies revealed that dedicated osteoporosis health professionals are effective in improving investigations, initiating treatment, reducing future fractures, and improving referral to specialist bone clinics.

Conclusion

A dedicated osteoporosis health professional can be effective in increasing osteoporosis investigations and treatment initiation, ultimately reducing future fractures, and ensuring specialist bone clinic reviews for outpatients with low trauma non-hip fractures.

This summary is based on a review that was determined to be of medium methodological quality based on an assessment using the AMSTAR tool.




Glossary

Systematic review
A comprehensive evaluation of the available research evidence on a particular topic.

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