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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 270-279

Osteoporosis and its management: Knowledge, attitudes and practices of physicians in United Arab Emirates

Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Salem A Beshyah
Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-489X.210556

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Background: Awareness among physicians is essential for early detection and timely treatment. Aim: To assess physicians' attitudes and knowledge to management of osteoporosis. Methods: A descriptive study using a questionnaire. The group studied consisted of a convenience sample of hospital and primary care physicians in the United Arab Emirates. Results: Responses were obtained from 173 physicians (49.7% female, 50.2% male). Over half were senior physicians (87) with the majority practicing in public institutions (158). The majority of the respondents thought that osteoporosis was an important clinical problem, and appreciated the fact that women in the Middle East are at an increased risk of osteoporosis. They thought that anti- osteoporosis management should be covered by national medical insurance schemes. However, more than 75% were unaware of the presence of regional guidelines on osteoporosis. Many respondents recognized the frequency and importance of vitamin D deficiency in non-skeletal health issues, though not all realized the need for higher doses in people with lower levels of sun exposure. A high proportion of respondents encouraged physical activity and cessation of smoking for all women. However, their use of medications was variable and not compatible with current guidelines. A relatively low level of knowledge was found regarding adequate dosing of several pharmacological treatments. Conclusions: Gaps in knowledge of physicians about bone health were identified. There is a need to extend medical knowledge regarding the contemporary management of osteoporosis and its risk factors.

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