Osteoporosis prevention: Where are the barriers to improvement in French general practitioners? A qualitative study

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Osteoporosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment remain suboptimal. OBJECTIVES: We conducted a qualitative study to understand barriers towards care initiation and levers to improve awareness and management of osteoporosis among general practitioners (GPs). METHODS: Semi-structured face-to face interviews were conducted with 16 GPs in the Rhône area of France to explore their knowledge and representations regarding osteoporosis. A thematic analysis of transcripts was performed to identify GPs' perceptions on osteoporosis diagnosis, prevention, treatment and patients' expectations. RESULTS: Interviewed GPs considered osteoporosis far less important than other chronic diseases. They questioned whether osteoporosis was a disease or normal aspect of ageing. They associated osteoporosis with fragility fractures, female sex, menopause, and old age but rarely with male sex. They regarded bone mineral density as the reference diagnostic test, but certain GPs indicated that they had difficulties to interpret the results and to know when to prescribe. Biphosphonates were mentioned as the reference treatment but some GPs expressed distrust about osteoporosis medications. Most of them did not think to screen for osteoporosis risk factors in their patients in a preventive medical approach. They mentioned the lack of time to implement prevention and were expecting clear and pragmatic guidelines, as well as information campaigns in general population to increase awareness on osteoporosis. CONCLUSION: GPs tended to underestimate the salience of osteoporosis. Clear recommendations, better awareness of GPs and the general population could improve osteoporosis prevention and treatment.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 10:14:59 AM
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Blandine Merle, Julie Haesebaert, Amélie Bédouet, Loïc Barraud, Marie Flori, et al.. Osteoporosis prevention: Where are the barriers to improvement in French general practitioners? A qualitative study. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2019, 14 (7), pp.e0219681. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0219681⟩. ⟨inserm-02265007⟩

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