Exploring New Zealand Orthopaedic Nurses' Knowledge of Osteoporosis

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Osteoporosis is a highly prevalent yet preventable disease. Nurses can play a major role in the prevention of osteoporosis and preventive treatment of patients who have had an osteoporotic fracture.

PURPOSE:

This study explored whether New Zealand orthopaedic nurses have the knowledge to provide osteoporosis prevention education, and also examined these nurses' perceptions of their role in the diagnosis and prevention of osteoporosis.

METHODS:

A questionnaire assessing osteoporosis knowledge was sent to a convenience sample of orthopaedic nurses. Data were analyzed quantitatively for the knowledge component, and qualitatively for the nurses' perception of their role, perceived barriers, and educational preferences.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:

Findings reveal that New Zealand orthopaedic nurses have inadequate osteoporosis knowledge and this is a barrier to educating patients regarding osteoporosis. Adherence to published recommendations for the management of osteoporosis has been inconsistent. Confusion about who should lead osteoporosis prevention is evident and it seems that nurses play a passive role.

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