How much do the Arab females know about osteoporosis? The scope and the sources of knowledge

Al Attia, Haider M.; Abu Merhi, Amal A.; Al Farhan, Maha M.
September 2008
Clinical Rheumatology;Sep2008, Vol. 27 Issue 9, p1167
Academic Journal
Three hundred fifty-eight educated women, 172 with secondary school education (49%) and 186 (51%) with higher education, were consented for the study. Eighty-five percent were Arab females with an average age of 28.8 years. They expressed their knowledge on osteoporosis on one–one interview. A score of two or more correct items would qualify the respondents to indicate the source(s) of their knowledge. Highly educated women had significantly less 0–1 score (37/186, 20%) than the other subgroup (74/172, 44%, p = 0.001). They, on average, expressed 2.5 items of knowledge vs. 1.69 by the other subgroup ( p = 0.002). A total of 245 females, then, became eligible to indicate the source of knowledge. Osteoporosis as a “disease of menopause women” (84%) followed by “disease of easily fractured bones” (64.5%) were the highest in the list in their perception collectively and individually. Items relevant to lifestyle habits, complications, and disease associations were identically not acknowledged. They, however, significantly differed in their response to two items: “a disease of low bone density” and the “role of immobilization and low exercise.” Highly educated women appeared more respondent than the other group ( p = 0.008 and p = 0.05, respectively). Both were dependent on the “visual media,” “relatives,” and the “medics” as main sources of information. “Reading books” and “listening to radio programs” on osteoporosis were never considered. The highly educated Arab females have excelled over others with secondary education in terms of frequency and averaging the items of knowledge on osteoporosis. They, however, were not different in the way they perceived osteoporosis as well as in indicating their sources of knowledge. The results reemphasize the lack of an international standard in the understanding of osteoporosis among different populations of females.


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