Treatment of osteoporosis in an older home care population
1 Department of Community Health Sciences University of Calgary, Calgary AB, Canada
2 Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary AB, Canada
3 Institute of Health Economics, Edmonton AB, Canada
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2005, 6:7 doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-7Published: 11 February 2005
Previous research indicates that many patients with fractures indicative of underlying osteoporosis are not receiving appropriate diagnostic follow-up and therapy. We assessed osteoporosis treatment coverage in older home care clients with a diagnosis of osteoporosis and/or prevalent fracture.
Subjects included 330 home care clients, aged 65+, participating in a longitudinal study of medication adherence and health-related outcomes. Data on clients' demographic, health and functional status and service utilization patterns were collected using the Minimum Data Set for Home Care (MDS-HC). A medication review included prescribed and over-the-counter medications taken in the past 7 days. Criteria for indications for osteoporosis therapy included diagnosis of osteoporosis or a recent fracture. Coverage for treatment was examined for anti-osteoporotic therapies approved for use in 2000.
Of the 330 home care clients, 78 (24%) had a diagnosis of osteoporosis (n = 47) and/or had sustained a recent fracture (n = 34). Drug data were available for 77/78 subjects. Among the subjects with osteoporosis or a recent fracture, 45.5% were receiving treatment for osteoporosis; 14% were receiving only calcium and vitamin D, and an additional 31% were receiving drug therapy (bisphosphonate or hormone replacement therapy). The remaining 54.5% of subjects were not receiving any approved osteoporosis therapy.
The high prevalence of undertreatment among a population of older adults with relatively high access to health care services raises concern regarding the adequacy of diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in the community.