Internal Medicine Hospitalists’ Perceived Barriers and Recommendations for Optimizing Secondary Prevention of Osteoporotic Hip Fractures

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Abstract

Objectives

Osteoporosis is a major public health concern affecting an estimated 10 million people in the United States. To the best of our knowledge, no qualitative study has explored barriers perceived by medicine hospitalists to secondary prevention of osteoporotic hip fractures. We aimed to describe these perceived barriers and recommendations regarding how to optimize secondary prevention of osteoporotic hip fracture.

Methods

In-depth, semistructured interviews were performed with 15 internal medicine hospitalists in a tertiary-care referral medical center. The interviews were analyzed with directed content analysis.

Results

Internal medicine hospitalists consider secondary osteoporotic hip fracture prevention as the responsibility of outpatient physicians. Identified barriers were stratified based on themes including physicians’ perception, patients’ characteristics, risks and benefits of osteoporosis treatment, healthcare delivery system, and patient care transition from the inpatient to the outpatient setting. Some of the recommendations include building an integrated system that involves a multidisciplinary team such as the fracture liaison service, initiating a change to the hospital policy to facilitate inpatient care and management of osteoporosis, and creating a smooth patient care transition to the outpatient setting.

Conclusions

Our study highlighted how internal medicine hospitalists perceive their role in the secondary prevention of osteoporotic hip fractures and what they perceive as barriers to initiating preventive measures in the hospital. Inconsistency in patient care transition and the fragmented nature of the existing healthcare system were identified as major barriers. A fracture liaison service could remove some of these barriers.

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