Older women's views about prescription osteoporosis medication: a cross-sectional, qualitative study

UMMS Affiliation

Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Age Factors; Aged; Bone Density; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; *Interviews as Topic; Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal; Patient Preference; Prescription Drugs; Sex Factors; Women


Health Services Research | Primary Care


BACKGROUND: Osteoporosis is a significant health problem, especially for older women. Prescription osteoporosis medication can reduce fractures, but many women do not accept treatment or discontinue treatment before benefits are achieved.

OBJECTIVES: To explore older women's views about prescription osteoporosis medication use in depth and to identify specific beliefs and experiences that influence these views.

METHODS: We conducted in-depth telephone interviews with women aged >/=65 years with clinically confirmed osteoporosis. Interviewees were asked about their beliefs and experiences related to osteoporosis and osteoporosis treatment. Interviews were recorded and transcribed; key themes were identified using qualitative analysis.

RESULTS: Perceived need, medication effectiveness and medication safety were identified as critical influences on women's views about prescription osteoporosis medication. These perceptions were in turn influenced by various beliefs, experiences and behaviours, including interactions with the physician, personal experience and behaviours, and vicarious experience.

CONCLUSIONS: Older women with osteoporosis need clear information about their condition, including the diagnosis, the implications of the diagnosis, treatment options, medication effectiveness and side effects. Physicians should check with their patients to confirm understanding and address concerns, as older women may not always voice their reservations and concerns.

DOI of Published Version



Drugs Aging. 2010 Dec 1;27(12):999-1008. doi: 10.2165/11584790-000000000-00000. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Drugs and aging

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID