Feature Article

Osteoporosis: enhancing management in primary care

Feature Article

Osteoporosis: enhancing management in primary care

MICHAEL BENNETT, Chris White, Lin Perry

Figures

© choochin/istockphoto.com
© choochin/istockphoto.com

Abstract

Osteoporosis is a common condition in Australia with effective treatments available, yet it is mostly only identified after a fragility fracture and often not even then. Detection and management in general practice are essential for secondary and primary fracture prevention.

Key Points

  • Osteoporosis is a common lifelong condition that requires long-term management and monitoring.
  • GPs have a key and enduring role in osteoporosis management, often in partnership with hospital-based services.
  • Identification of at-risk patients using a systematic approach and arranging timely investigation enables best practice assessment and initiation of treatment.
  • Opportunistic screening with bone health assessments should be incorporated into general health assessments for high-risk populations, with assistance, where possible, of practice nurses.
  • Management of osteoporosis in primary care includes a personalised treatment regimen, education and monitoring.
  • Allied health practitioner involvement, use of online resources and referral to osteoporosis community programs can enhance osteoporosis management.