Poster Abstract

Ageism and Osteoporosis: A Workshop for the Elderly and their Health Care Providers (P099)

Monique Camerlain (Clinique Médicale Belvedere, Sherbrooke, Quebec); Geneviève Myhal (Clinique Médicale Belvedere, Sherbrooke, Quebec); Jean Yves Bergeron Inf-Aux (Résidences Soleil, Granby, Quebec)

Osteoporosis remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in Canada, despite the availability of effective treatments and despite personal, familial and societal costs and consequences. This leads to increased morbidity and mortality. Moreover, 50% of patients abandon treatment within a year.

Ageism is a factor lead to improper medical diagnosis and treatment. Coined by Butler in 1969, two forms have been described: ageism against others and ageism against self. The authors’ previous research has shown an ageist bias in 58% of surveyed Canadian healthcare professionals.

The purpose of our workshop was to educate elders on ageism and osteoporosis in order to help stamp out ageism, to improve communication, and to reduce the care gap in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

With an unrestricted educational grant from Eli Lilly, we have created a workshop and presented it in several Retirement Homes in Quebec. Participants included the Homes’ healthcare providers and senior residents. They filled a before-and-after questionnaire that evaluated changes in their knowledge and attitudes on ageism and osteoporosis, and their satisfaction with the workshop.

Ageism and its consequences were illustrated in a role play vignette. Next, a formal presentation on ageism and the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis was followed by an interactive period. We present questionnaire results pertaining to workshop satisfaction, knowledge and attitudinal change, willingness to communicate with healthcare providers, and willingness to seek diagnosis and treatment.