01.12.2023 | Original Article
Osteoporosis management by primary care physicians in Singapore: a survey on osteoporosis guidelines utilisation and barriers to care
Archives of Osteoporosis
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This study seeks to understand the knowledge/utilisation of osteoporosis guidelines among PCPs in Singapore, their confidence in and barriers to osteoporosis management. Knowledge and usage of guidelines was associated with confidence in management. Effective guideline adoption is therefore crucial. PCPs also need systemic support to overcome barriers to osteoporosis care.
Primary care physicians (PCPs) are at the forefront of offering osteoporosis screening and treatment. However, osteoporosis remains under-treated in primary care, despite the existence of osteoporosis clinical practice guidelines for PCPs. This study aims to determine the self-reported knowledge and utilisation of local osteoporosis guidelines and associated sociodemographic factors and to determine the confidence and barriers to osteoporosis screening and management among PCPs in Singapore.
An anonymous web-based survey was conducted. PCPs in public and private practice were invited to participate in the self-administered survey via e-mail and messaging platforms. Chi-square test was performed for bivariate analysis; multivariable logistic regression models were used for factors with p value < 0.2.
Three hundred thirty-four complete survey datasets were processed for analysis. Two hundred fifty-one PCPs (75.1%) had read the osteoporosis guidelines. 70.5% self-reported good knowledge, and 74.9% use the guidelines. PCPs who self-reported good guideline knowledge (OR = 5.84; 2.96–11.49) and utilisation (OR = 4.54; 2.21–9.34) were more likely to perceive confidence in osteoporosis management. PCPs’ perception that patients had other medical priorities during the consultation (79.3%) was the commonest barrier to screening. Limited anti-osteoporosis medication (54.1%) in the practice was a hindrance to management. Polyclinic-based PCPs frequently cited the lack of consultation time as a barrier; more systemic barriers were faced by PCPs in private practices.
Most PCPs know and use the local osteoporosis guidelines. Knowledge and usage of guidelines was associated with confidence in management. Strategies to address the prevalent barriers to osteoporosis screening and management faced by PCPs are needed.