A cross-sectional study to determine if a family history of osteoporosis impacts on attitudes towards osteoporosis knowledge, beliefs and self-efficacy in middle-aged women from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
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Background Osteoporosis accounts for more disability-adjusted life-years than any non-communicable disease. For prevention, osteoporosis health-beliefs and knowledge amongst high-risk groups including those with a family history should be assessed. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted with a purposive and opportunistic sample of 20 middle-aged women with a family history and 20 middle-aged women without a family history of osteoporosis from the United Kingdom and Ireland. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess participants; health-beliefs for osteoporosis seriousness and any individual’s susceptibility to osteoporosis, osteoporosis knowledge and self-efficacy for prevention, to compare differences between those with and without a family history of osteoporosis. Results No differences were noted in beliefs relating to any individual’s susceptibility, or osteoporosis seriousness between middle-aged women with and without a family history of osteoporosis. Middle-aged women without a family history agreed more that ‘foods rich in calcium reduce risks of osteoporosis’ than women with a family history (p=0.038). Average osteoporosis knowledge score was 70%. 92.5% of participants were ‘willing’ to begin bone-promoting exercises and 100% ‘willing’ to increase calcium intakes. Participants with body mass index >30kg/m2 were less ‘willing’ to begin bone-promoting exercise (p=0.038). ‘No time to exercise’ and ‘fat content in calcium-rich foods’ were the most frequently reported barriers for participants to undertake osteoporosis prevention behaviours. Conclusions There were no findings to suggest a family-history of osteoporosis impacted middleaged women’s osteoporosis knowledge, osteoporosis-related health-beliefs or self-efficacy for osteoporosis prevention. This suggests that osteoporosis awareness and education for osteoporosis prevention is required for all middle-aged women.
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