GeneralORIGINAL ARTICLE

Osteoporosis knowledge and health beliefs among middle-aged men and women in the Southern United States

Stacy Chelf, PhD, MS; Robert E. Davis, PhD; Martha A. Bass, PhD; M. Allison Ford, PhD; Ali D. Firouzabadi, MD, MPH; Jonathan T. Leo, PhD; and Vinayak K. Nahar, MD, PhD, MS
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: January 12, 2022

Accepted: April 8, 2022

Published: May 3, 2022

  • Stacy Chelf, PhD, MS, 

    DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University, Knoxville, TN, USA

  • Robert E. Davis, PhD, 

    Substance Use and Mental Health Laboratory, Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA

  • Martha A. Bass, PhD, 

    Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA

  • M. Allison Ford, PhD, 

    Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA

  • Ali D. Firouzabadi, MD, MPH, 

    Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine/John D. Bower School of Population Health, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA

  • Jonathan T. Leo, PhD, 

    Department of Anatomy, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dothan, AL, USA

  • Vinayak K. Nahar, MD, PhD, MS, 

    Department of Clinical Research, School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, The University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA

Abstract

Context: The most common skeletal disease, osteoporosis, causes bone fragility due to decreased bone mass and bone microarchitecture destruction. The health belief model is often applied to asymptomatic, prevention-related diseases such as osteoporosis. Steps to mitigate the insidious nature of osteoporosis, including education, motivation, and monitoring of bone mineral density, must begin at an earlier age.

Objectives: This study evaluates the knowledge and health beliefs surrounding osteoporosis in a population of males and females 35–50 years old to determine sex-based differences in osteoporosis knowledge and beliefs and to assess the correlation between perceptions and health motivation.

Methods: Participants (81 males, 92 females) completed two questionnaires: the Osteoporosis Knowledge Test and the Osteoporosis Health Belief Scale. Descriptive statistics were performed along with Pearson product-moment correlation analysis to determine the relationships between the variables. Sex-based differences were calculated utilizing independent t-tests.

Results: We discovered a statistically significant negative correlation between the barriers to exercise and health motivation (−0.434, p < 0.001) and a statistically significant positive correlation between the benefits of exercise and health motivation (0.385, p < 0.001). However, there was not a statistically significant correlation between health motivation with the following: the benefits of calcium, susceptibility, and the seriousness of osteoporosis. Between males and females, there was a statistically significant difference in exercise and calcium knowledge, susceptibility, and the benefits of both exercise and calcium (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Males and females 35–50 years old perceive themselves to have a low susceptibility to osteoporosis. They do not consider osteoporosis a serious disease and have little motivation to mitigate its inception or progression. Their perceptions show that barriers to exercise impact health motivation more than the perceived benefits of exercise.

Read Full Article