Practice of Family Physicians in the Management of Osteoporosis Among Older Female Patients at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Cureus. 2022 Feb 19;14(2):e22387. doi: 10.7759/cureus.22387. eCollection 2022 Feb.


Background Osteoporosis is one of the major worldwide health concerns and carries medical, social, and financial impacts due to its significant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to explore the practice of family physicians in osteoporosis management in older female patients. Method This study was performed in a cross-sectional manner. Data, including patient and disease characteristics and management practices, were obtained from the electronic patient chart for female patients aged 60 years and older who were followed in family medicine clinics at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the period from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2020. Management was checked and evaluated against osteoporosis management guidelines. Results In 42 patients out of 250, an osteoporosis diagnosis was missed. Among the 208 charts that were reviewed, the mean patient age was 72.06 years, and the mean duration of the disease according to the initial dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan was 3.68 years. Laboratory tests were performed for only about half of the patients. Vitamin D was given only to 54.3% while calcium supplements were given only to 53.4%. Almost one-third of the patients have not been prescribed any antiosteoporosis medications. Conclusion The current study documented that older females with osteoporosis were not well-managed in the investigated family medicine settings. Continuous professional development activities and periodic practice reviews are suggested to improve this situation.

Keywords: bone health; elderly; general practice; pharmacotherapy; women health.