In this systematic review, the effects of osteoporosis patient education were examined. All studies found an effect on physical function, but for the other themes, the results were inconclusive. The findings indicate a need for further research in this topic.
INTRODUCTION: Osteoporosis is a chronic disease with serious consequences for the individual and major societal costs. With the aim of fracture prevention, many countries offer osteoporosis patient education. The objectives were to examine the effects and mediators of osteoporosis patient education and describe the characteristics of studies with and without an effect. Though, none of the included studies reported mediators, and therefore, we could not examine that.
METHODS: Six databases were searched in October 2020. Two researchers independently conducted title and abstract screening as well as full-text review. Records were included if participants had osteoporosis, and the patient education was group-based, face-to-face, and addressed two or more aspects, e.g., diet, medication, and exercise. The Cochrane Collaboration tools were used for risk of bias assessment. Finally, data were extracted into a standardized form and presented narratively.
RESULTS: In total, 2934 records were identified, and 13 studies met the inclusion criteria. All six studies examining the effects of patient education on physical function demonstrated improvements. In addition, one out of two RCT studies and one non-randomized study reported improved psychological wellbeing. Just one out of five RCT studies showed improvements regarding physical discomfort and disability. Effects on health-related quality of life, adherence and persistence, and knowledge of osteoporosis were inconclusive.
CONCLUSION: There is limited evidence for the effectiveness of osteoporosis patient education. There is a need for high-quality randomized controlled trials, which should describe the characteristics of the interventions and examine the mechanisms of osteoporosis patient education.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020211930.