Factors associated with pharmacologic treatment of osteoporosis in an older home care population

TitleFactors associated with pharmacologic treatment of osteoporosis in an older home care population
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsVik S.A, Jantzi M., Poss J., Hirdes J., Hanley D.A, Hogan D.B, Maxwell C.J
JournalJ Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci
Date PublishedAug
ISBN Number1079-5006 (Print)<br/>1079-5006 (Linking)
Accession Number17702879
Keywords*Home Care Services, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Bone Density Conservation Agents/*therapeutic use, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Fractures, Bone/epidemiology/etiology/*prevention & control, Humans, Male, Ontario/epidemiology, Osteoporosis/complications/*drug therapy/epidemiology, Prevalence, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Treatment Outcome

BACKGROUND: A number of studies have shown low rates of osteoporosis treatment. Few, if any, have assessed a comprehensive range of functional and clinical correlates of treatment coverage. Our objective was to examine which sociodemographic, clinical, and functional characteristics are associated with pharmacotherapy for osteoporosis among community-based seniors. METHODS: The study sample included 48,689 home care clients aged >/= 65 years in Ontario, Canada. Treatment coverage (calcium and vitamin D and/or anti-osteoporotic drugs) was assessed in two subgroups, clients with a diagnosis of osteoporosis (without fracture) and those with a prevalent fracture. Sociodemographic, health, and functional measures available from the Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care (RAI-HC) were assessed as correlates of treatment in multivariable logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Approximately 59% of clients with a diagnosis of osteoporosis were receiving pharmacotherapy, compared with 27% of those with a prevalent fracture. For both subgroups, treatment coverage was significantly lower among clients with at least three chronic conditions, health instability, fewer than nine medications, functional impairment, and depressive symptoms and among those clients who were widowed. Among clients with a diagnosis of osteoporosis, treatment was positively associated with cognitive impairment and negatively associated with confinement to a wheelchair or bed. Men with a prevalent fracture were significantly less likely to receive treatment, particularly in the absence of an osteoporosis diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Many older adults with presumed osteoporosis in our study were not receiving drug therapy for this condition. Indicators of clinical instability and functional decline appear to represent influential factors in treatment decisions. Despite a lower likelihood of treatment among men with a prevalent fracture, this sex difference in treatment largely disappeared in the presence of an osteoporosis diagnosis.