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Using a sequential explanatory mixed method to evaluate the therapeutic window of opportunity for initiating osteoporosis treatment following fragility fractures.

Osteoporos Int. 2018 Feb 14;: Authors: Roux S, Gaboury I, Gionet-Landry N, Garant MP, Beaulieu MC, Carrier N, Cabana F, Boire G

INTRODUCTION: A fragility fracture (FF) event identifies patients most likely to benefit from osteoporosis treatment. Nonetheless, most FF patients go untreated. Our objective was to determine how long an incident FF remains a strong incentive to initiate osteoporosis treatment. METHODS: A total of 1086 men and women over age 50 with a recent FF event were assigned to either standard care (SC), to minimal (MIN), or intensive (INT) interventions targeting patients and their family physician to initiate osteoporosis treatment. Inpatients with FF (mainly hip) evaluated by rheumatologists were also included in a specialized group (SPE; n = 324). At 1 year, untreated patients in both the SC and the MIN groups were offered an INT intervention. The cohort was followed through 48 months. A qualitative analysis of patient-centered decision-making associated with initiation of treatment was conducted. RESULTS: In MIN and INT groups, osteoporosis treatment was initiated in 41.0 and 54.3% of untreated patients by 12 months, respectively, compared to 68.4% in SPE and 18.9% in SC groups; initiation rates drastically dropped thereafter. Over 4863 patient-years of follow-up, the rates of new FF were 3.4 per 100 patient-years, without significant differences between patients with initial major or minor FF, nor between control or intervention groups. Failure by patients and physicians to recognize FF as a sign of underlying bone disease contributed the most to lack of treatment. CONCLUSION: While incident FFs are an ideal opportunity for starting osteoporosis treatment, 1 year later, the therapeutic window of opportunity has already closed. PMID: 29445831 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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