The program of educational visits resulted in changes to the way GPs undertook the identification and management of osteoporosis.
GPs who took part in an educational visit were more likely to:
- consider four key osteoporosis risk factors (rheumatoid arthritis, alcohol intake ≥ 3 units per day, current smoking and parental history of fracture) in their patients
- identify optimal management for a male patient with clinical risk factors (77% vs 66%, p = 0.004)
- identify preferred practice for a female patient with minimal trauma fracture (53% vs 32%, p < 0.001)
- recognise the need to correct pre-existing hypocalcaemia before correcting osteoporosis management (92% vs 63%, p < 0.001)
- correctly identify best practice for the long-term use of bisphosphonates.
Participant GPs also reported increased confidence in assessing the risks and benefits of six commonly prescribed medicines used in osteoporosis management, particularly denosumab (42% reported an increase, p < 0.001).
In addition, a greater proportion of participant GPs reported discussing adherence-related topics with their patients after the program, especially why patients had been prescribed a particular type of medicine (88% vs 66%, p < 0.001) and explaining that medicines are a long-term investment (84% vs 51%, p < 0.001).
An educational visit did not modify prescribing considerations, consideration of oral corticosteroids as a risk factor, or practice in patient monitoring.