Improving the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis using a senior-friendly peer-led community education and mentoring model: a randomized controlled trial


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Background: This randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluated a 6-month peer-led community education and mentorship program to improve the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis. Methods: Ten seniors (74–90 years of age) were trained to become peer educators and mentors and deliver the intervention. In the subsequent RCT, 105 seniors (mean age =80.5±6.9; 89% female) were randomly assigned to the peer-led education and mentorship program (n=53) or control group (n=52). Knowledge was assessed at baseline and 6 months. Success was defined as discussing osteoporosis risk with their family physician, obtaining a bone mineral density assessment, and returning to review their risk profile and receive advice and/or treatment. Results: Knowledge of osteoporosis did not change significantly. There was no difference in knowledge change between the two groups (mean difference =1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] of difference −0.76 to 3.36). More participants in the intervention group achieved a successful outcome (odds ratio 0.16, 95% CI 0.06–0.42, P<0.001). Conclusion: Peer-led education and mentorship can promote positive health behavior in seniors. This model was effective for improving osteoporosis risk assessment, diagnosis, and treatment in a community setting.

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