Rehabil Nurs 2002 Nov-Dec;27(6):232-6
Sharts-Hopko NC, Sullivan MP.
College of Nursing, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085-1690, USA.
Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at increased risk for osteoporosis and fracture; in turn, osteoporosis has the potential to exacerbate the physical limitations imposed by MS.
This qualitative study explored the understanding of osteoporosis risk and risk reduction, strategies being used to reduce risk, and related beliefs among 27 women with MS.
Participants were recruited at a regional MS Society meeting.
The women completed personal data forms, and responded to open-ended questions during taped interviews, which were transcribed and subjected to comparative content analysis.
Five themes emerged from the data: knowledge about osteoporosis, sense of vulnerability, interactions with healthcare providers, preventive actions, and sense of control.
All of the women had some knowledge about osteoporosis risk reduction, and most of the women were actively attempting to reduce their risk.
However, few of the women had full knowledge, or were doing all that they might do, to minimize their risk.
Few of their healthcare providers had discussed the issue or responded to their concerns, even when women had histories of multiple fractures.
The women did comprehened their increased risk and most attempted to manage it, although input was lacking from healthcare providers about osteoporosis risk reduction.