2017. Kerr C et al. – The importance of physical function to people with osteoporosis


Kerr C, Bottomley C, Shingler S, Giangregorio L, de Freitas HM, Patel C, et al. The importance of physicial function to people with osteoporosis. Osteopros Int. 2017;28(5):1597-1607.


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INTRODUCTION. There is increasing need to understand patient-centered outcomes in osteoporosis (OP) clinical research and management. This multi-method paper provides insight on the effect of OP on patients’ physical function and everyday activity.

METHODS. Data were collected from three sources: (1) targeted literature review on OP and physical function, conducted in MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO; (2) secondary thematic analysis of transcripts from patient interviews, conducted to develop a patient-reported outcome instrument. Transcripts were re-coded to focus on OP impact on daily activities and physical function for those with and without fracture history; and (3) discussions of the literature review and secondary qualitative analysis results with three clinical experts to review and interpret the importance and implications of the findings.

RESULTS. Results suggest that OP, particularly with fracture, can have profound impacts on physical function/activity. These impacts accumulate over time through a cycle of impairment, as fracture leads to longer term detriments in physical function, including loss of muscle, activity avoidance and reduced physical capacity, which in turn leads to greater risk of fracture and potential for further physical restrictions. The cycle of impairment is complex, as other physical, psychosocial and treatment-related factors, such as comorbidities, fears and beliefs about physical activity and fracture risk influence physical function and everyday activity.

CONCLUSION. More information on how treatments impact physical function would benefit healthcare professionals and persons with OP in making treatment decisions and improving treatment compliance/persistence, as these impacts may be more salient to patients than fracture incidence.