Use of the Precaution Adoption Process Model to examine predictors of osteoprotective behavior in epilepsy

Seizure. 2007 Jul;16(5):424-37. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2007.02.016. Epub 2007 Apr 18.


In the neurology literature it is well established that anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) lead to bone loss (osteopenia and osteoporosis). Several large epidemiologic studies have found twice the fracture rate in persons with epilepsy compared to the non-epilepsy population. While an increasing level of awareness for preventative measures and screening by neurologists and primary care physicians are recommended, so far no one has attempted to address how knowledge related to calcium and exercise, health beliefs (based on the Health Belief Model) and self-efficacy (confidence in abilities) impact osteoprotective behaviors in epilepsy, based on the Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM). The seven-stage PAPM, unlike other health behavior theories where a person is either practicing or not practicing the behavior, conceptualizes behavior change as dynamic and occurring over time. Validated instruments were used to assess knowledge, health beliefs, self-efficacy and stages of the precaution adoption process for four osteoprotective behaviors. For dietary calcium; exercise knowledge and calcium self-efficacy predicted higher stages of precaution adoption. For calcium supplements; age perceived susceptibility for osteoporosis and perceived benefits of calcium predicted higher stages. Exercise adoption stage was most predicted by exercise knowledge and health motivation. For DEXA screening adoption; age and perceived susceptibility predicted higher stages. This study provides hints how persons with epilepsy could be influenced to move from the unaware/unengaged positions into to the stages of adoption and maintenance for osteoprotective behaviors.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Osteoporosis / etiology*
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Osteoporosis / psychology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Self Efficacy


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Calcium, Dietary