PURPOSE: Osteoporosis is common in patients with chronic lung diseases and early recognition of its risk factors and treatment is very important. We conducted this study to assess the knowledge, perceptions about risk factors, screening and treatment for osteoporosis among pulmonologists treating patients with chronic lung diseases.
METHODS: We developed a survey tool consisting of 23 questions related to demographics of pulmonologists, screening criteria and management strategies of patients they saw who were at risk of osteoporosis. The survey was electronically administered to three network groups of the American College of Chest Physicians.
RESULTS: We obtained a total of 481 responses; 93% were pulmonologists, 39% belonged to academic institutions. A significant number of pulmonologists evaluated patients taking inhaled and oral corticosteroids, however there was no agreement about the dose or the duration of corticosteroid use that they considered to be a risk factor for this co-morbidity. In fact, 67% of respondents did not consider inhaled corticosteroids as a risk for osteoporosis. Although 91% had access to bone densitometry, 25% of respondents had not referred any patient for this test in the preceding three months. When given a case scenario with a bone density test results, 37% were not able to accurately interpret these results. The majority of the respondents (89%) thought that they needed to improve their current knowledge about osteoporosis. A web- based guide was the most popular method sought for receiving future information about osteoporosis.
CONCLUSION: Significant deficiencies were noted among pulmonologists regarding identification of risk factors, screening and interpretation of screening tools for adequate management of osteoporosis in patients with pulmonary diseases.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study highlights the need for future educational interventions that can change the current approach among pulmonologists to this co-morbidity and that may lead to improved health standards of patients with pulmonary diseases.
DISCLOSURE: Vaidehi Kaza, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information