Strong bones after 50 is a guide that provides jargon-free information to patients and carers for supporting older people who have broken a bone following a fall.
There are an estimated half a million fragility fractures in the UK each year, many of which could be prevented with earlier diagnosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. However, the link is not being made between fractures in the over 50s and undetected osteoporosis. A fifth of women who have broken a bone break three or more before being diagnosed.
By giving patients information about bone health and fracture prevention, we hope that they will have the confidence to approach their doctor and ask for further investigations. Finding out more about risk factors can also be helpful, as some of these can be addressed by the patient, such as such as not smoking or drinking excessive alcohol and having a healthy body weight.
Working with a patient focus group, the guide tells patients:
- the minimum standards of care they can expect
- what investigations they may undergo
- possible treatment options
- what they can do to help themselves.
On the advice of the patient focus group, we have also produced an animation to complement the printed leaflet. We hope this will enable us to reach a larger audience and that the animation will be more accessible to people who find it hard to use standard printed material. Both the leaflet and animation were produced with a group of patients and the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS).
In 2020 the patient and carer panel saw the opportunity to develop further advice around staying on treatment, following findings that less than 25% of of people who started, stayed on treatment a year after a fragility fracture.
If you have any questions or would like further information about this, or any other of our services, please contact the Fracture Liaison Service Database by telephone on +44 (0)20 3075 1511 or by email at FLSDB@rcp.ac.uk.