Bone health management in men undergoing ADT: examining enablers and barriers to care

Osteoporos Int. 2015 Mar;26(3):951-9. doi: 10.1007/s00198-014-2997-6. Epub 2014 Dec 20.


The study determined prostate cancer specialists' knowledge and concordance to guidelines regarding the diagnosis, management, and prevention of androgen deprivation therapy-induced osteoporosis. Despite high knowledge regarding bone health, most respondents did not routinely measure bone mineral density or use fracture risk assessment tools, suggesting a significant gap in the screening/monitoring of bone health.

Introduction: The purpose of this study was to determine prostate cancer specialists' knowledge, practices, self-perceived competencies and barriers to providing guideline-concordant care in the diagnosis, prevention, and management of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)-induced osteoporosis (OP).

Methods: A number of 73 Canadian radiation oncologists and 83 urologists completed questionnaires assessing (i) knowledge regarding OP and consensus guidelines for bone health management in men receiving ADT, (ii) self-assessed competencies regarding bone health management, (iii) current practices regarding OP prevention and management, and (iv) self-perceived barriers to providing guideline-concordant care.

Results: The majority of respondents were able to correctly identify the guideline-concordant frequency of repeat dual-energy X-Ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans (76.3%), vitamin D (70.3%), and calcium (53.2%) intake and that bisphosphonates/denosumab should always be considered for patients with a history of one low-trauma fracture (57.6%). Just under 1/3 (32.5%) reported routinely measuring bone mineral density (BMD) prior to starting ADT and routinely measuring BMD 1-2 years following the initiation of ADT (36.6%). Only 4.6% of respondents routinely used a validated fracture risk assessment tool. Lowest self-assessed competency levels were reported in providing self-management education to patients to foster the uptake of healthy bone behaviors (HBBs) and managing patients who present with or develop osteopenia and OP. The most significant barriers to providing OP prevention and management were lack of time and lack of supporting structures.

Conclusions: Despite high knowledge about appropriate bone health care among prostate cancer specialists, there remain significant gaps in screening and monitoring of bone health, suggesting the need to develop innovative strategies to overcome barriers to implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / adverse effects*
  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use
  • Canada
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / chemically induced*
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / prevention & control
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Professional Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Risk Assessment / methods


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents