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Keywords:

  • osteoporosis;
  • education programs;
  • prevention;
  • prevention behaviors;
  • prevention programs

Osteoporosis is an age related metabolic disease that primarily affects women and causes bone demineralization that results in fractures. Early identification of risk factors for osteoporosis and development of prevention programs is needed to halt the increasing incidence of the disease. Public health nurses (PHNs), with their emphasis on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention with individuals and families, are in a unique position to protect the health of these vulnerable populations who are at risk for osteoporosis. This article describes the implementation and program evaluation of three osteoporosis prevention educational programs that use three levels of intensity of design. Each design is based upon the learning needs of the targeted audience. The goals of each program were to increase knowledge of osteoporosis, increase health beliefs, and increase the frequency of osteoporosis preventing behaviors. Theoretical aspects from adult learning and the Health Belief Model (HBM) were used to develop the programs. For the program evaluation, participants completed evaluation instruments before and 3 weeks after participating in an osteoporosis health education program. Participants in all programs had significantly higher levels of knowledge after completing the programs; however, overall, there was no change in health beliefs or behaviors. Implications of these findings are discussed.