Dissertation Abstract

Osteoporosis Patient Health Education: Practices Among Bone Densitometry Equipment Operators

Publication Number:  AAT3122412
Author:  Ludwig, Rebecca L.
School:  University of Arkansas
Date:  2003
Pages:  121
Subject:  Health Sciences, Radiology (0574); Health Sciences, Public Health (0573)

Patients referred for bone densitometry evaluation have been clinically identified at risk for osteoporosis. Health professionals performing these exams have direct contact with the patients, affording the opportunity to counsel them about bone health promotion strategies. The descriptive study was conducted to analyze the predictors for osteoporosis prevention patient education by ionizing bone densitometry equipment operators. The sample for the study consisted of 158 people who perform bone density exams in Arkansas using ionizing equipment and 417 radiologic technologists (RTs) registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) with advanced certification in bone density (RTBDs). The study subjects performing bone density exams in Arkansas are health professionals such as nurses and RTs without ARRT advance certification in bone densitometry. Although no RTs registered by the ARRT in bone densitometry (RTBDs) are employed in Arkansas, 14 of the 26 Arkansans certified by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) as bone densitometry technologists (CDTs) participated in the study. The Osteoporosis Counseling Survey (OCS) was sent to the sample to assess responder demographics, their knowledge about osteoporosis, beliefs about the disease, attitudes towards osteoporosis preventive care, and their bone health promotion counseling habits. Modifying the Health Belief Model (Rosenstock, 1966) for a theoretical framework enabled the investigator to assume the likelihood of operators promoting healthy behaviors relate to having knowledge about behaviors that increase a person's susceptibility to adverse health effects associated with osteoporosis, having views of osteoporosis as a serious disease, having belief in the value of prevention strategies, and having confidence in their ability to provide counseling or to overcome other obstacles for providing health promotion services. Educational experiences of the health providers form the foundation of knowledge in osteoporosis prevention and preventive care strategies, as well as influence their beliefs about the disease. The Theory of Reasoned Action (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) further explains that the relationship between intention and action in health promotion behavior is influenced by the person's attitudes towards the behavior and the norms adopted in the social setting such as the workplace. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

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