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Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is characterised by changes in bone structure and decreased bone density, which lead to an increased risk of fracture. It is a common condition which will affect more than one in three women and around one in five men. The hip is a common site for osteoporosis and hip fractures are often the result of a fall onto an osteoporotic neck of femur. Osteoporosis carries significant morbidity in terms of pain and disability. Approximately 20% of people who suffer a hip fracture will die as a result. The cost to the NHS of osteoporotic fractures has been estimated at around £1.73 billion. As the population ages, the risk of osteoporosis and its sequelae will increase unless measures are put in place to recognise and address them.

This resource, consisting of five assessment questions at intermediate level, tests your knowledge of the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis based on national guidance. Complete the resource, including reading the featured articles and undertaking some or all of the suggested activities, to obtain a certificate for one hour of continuing professional development to include in your annual portfolio.

Aims and objectives

On completion of this resource, you should have an understanding of:

  • The importance of recognising those at risk of osteoporosis
  • The range of diagnostic tools that can be used to assess the risk of fragility fractures
  • The importance of the general practice nurse’s role in aiding patient’s understanding of treatment options
  • The role of lifestyle interventions in reducing the risk and impact of osteoporosis

Recommended reading

NICE CG 146 Assessing the risk of fragility fracture, 2012

Arthritis Research UK. Osteoporosis: advances in assessment and drug therapy, 2012 

Further resources

National Osteoporosis Society

Arthritis Research UK

Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network (NASN)