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Improving the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis using a senior-friendly peer-led community education and mentoring model: a randomized controlled trial

Authors Kloseck M, Fitzsimmons DA, Speechley M, Savundranayagam MY, Crilly RG

Received 18 December 2016

Accepted for publication 24 March 2017

Published 16 May 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 823—833


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Marita Kloseck,1,2 Deborah A Fitzsimmons,1,3,4 Mark Speechley,5 Marie Y Savundranayagam,1 Richard G Crilly1,2

1Sam Katz Community Health and Aging Research Unit, 2Division of Geriatric Medicine, Western University, London, ON, Canada; 3School of Nursing and Allied Health, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, 4School of Health and Related Research, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; 5Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Western University, London, ON, Canada

Background: This randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluated a 6-month peer-led community education and mentorship program to improve the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis.
Methods: Ten seniors (74–90 years of age) were trained to become peer educators and mentors and deliver the intervention. In the subsequent RCT, 105 seniors (mean age =80.5±6.9; 89% female) were randomly assigned to the peer-led education and mentorship program (n=53) or control group (n=52). Knowledge was assessed at baseline and 6 months. Success was defined as discussing osteoporosis risk with their family physician, obtaining a bone mineral density assessment, and returning to review their risk profile and receive advice and/or treatment.
Results: Knowledge of osteoporosis did not change significantly. There was no difference in knowledge change between the two groups (mean difference =1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] of difference −0.76 to 3.36). More participants in the intervention group achieved a successful outcome (odds ratio 0.16, 95% CI 0.06–0.42, P<0.001).
Conclusion: Peer-led education and mentorship can promote positive health behavior in seniors. This model was effective for improving osteoporosis risk assessment, diagnosis, and treatment in a community setting.

Keywords: prevention, seniors, mentor, bone mineral density, capacity building, community knowledge translation

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