Osteoporosis is a serious health problem that has reached epidemic proportions among Canadian women. This disease, and its concomitant fractures, places a heavy burden on society in terms of human suffering, loss of productivity, death, and health care costs. In keeping with these concerns, a Canadian community health agency has developed a series of workshops that are designed, in part, to educate women about this disease and to encourage them to take appropriate steps to prevent it or to make informed decisions about its treatment. The present study was designed to evaluate the outcome of one of these workshops.
A semi-experimental design was used to measure any changes in the participants' knowledge about osteoporosis and their prevention and treatment practices regarding this disease. The results were compared to those of a control group that consisted of members of various branches of the Women's Institute who volunteered to participate in the study.
The findings indicate that the workshop was effective in increasing the participants' level of knowledge on osteoporosis, an increase that was still evident 6 months following the session. The effect of the workshop on the actual preventive and treatment practices of women who attended, however, was limited to a slight increase in the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and calcium intake.