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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Do patients receive recommended treatment of osteoporosis following hip fracture in primary care?

Robert J Petrella12* and Tim J Jones2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family Medicine and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Schulich School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, 1490 Richmond St London, Ontario, N6G 2M3, Canada

2 School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, 1490 Richmond St, London, Ontario, N6G 2M3, Canada

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BMC Family Practice 2006, 7:31  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-7-31

Published: 9 May 2006

Abstract

Background

Osteoporosis results in fractures and treatment of osteoporosis has been shown to reduce risk of fracture particularly in those who have had a history of fracture.

Methods

A prospective study was conducted using patients admitted to a hip fracture rehabilitation program at a large referral center to evaluate the use of treatments recommended for secondary prevention of osteoporotic fracture between September 1, 2001 and September 30, 2003. The frequency of medication use for the treatment of osteoporosis including estrogen replacement therapy, bisphosponates, calcitonin, calcium and vitamin D therapy was determined on admission, at 6 weeks post discharge and one year following discharge. All patients were discharged to the care of their family physician. All family physicians in the referral region received a copy of the Canadian Consensus recommendations for osteoporosis management 1–3 months prior to the study.

Results

During the study period, 174 patients were enrolled and 121 completed all assessments. Fifty-seven family physicians were identified as caring for 1 or more of the study patients. Only 7 patients had previous BMD, only 5 patients had previously been prescribed a bisphosponate and 14 patients were taking calcium and/or vitamin D. All patients were prescribed 2500 mg calcium, 400 IU vitamin D and 5 mg residronate daily during rehabilitation and at discharge.

Following discharge, a significant improvement was seen in all clinical indices of functional mobility, including the functional independence measure (FIM), walking distance, fear of falling score (FFS), and the Berg balance score (BBS). At six weeks a significant (p < 0.01) decrease in calcium and vitamin D use was observed. All patients remained compliant with residronate therapy. At twelve months 71 patients remained on residronate (p < 0.01), 10 were now taking alternate bisphosphonate therapy and few were taking calcium and/or vitamin D (p < 0.001). FIM, FFS and Berg scores were significantly decreased from discharge (p < 0.001) while walking distance was unchanged.

Conclusion

Few patients admitted for hip fracture had previously taken recommended osteoporosis therapy including bisphosphonates. While compliance with Canadian Consensus recommendations was observed at six weeks, this was not the case at twelve months post hip fracture rehabilitation. Interventions to improve not only the detection and treatment of osteoporosis but also the ongoing treatment and management post-fracture need to be developed and implemented.