The Invisible Disease: Making sense of an osteoporosis in older age

JM Weston, EV Norris, EM Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Osteoporosis (low bone density) is a potentially serious disease which mainly affects women older than 50 years. National screening programs for osteoporosis are being developed in the United Kingdom. It is important to assess the psychological experience of receiving a positive diagnosis from a population-based screening program so that psychological distress does not outweigh medical benefits. Little research has been conducted in this field. In our study, we explored the experience of being diagnosed with osteoporosis following screening. We interviewed 10 women aged 68 to 79 who were recruited from a population-based osteoporosis screening trial. Four themes emerged from our interpretative phenomenological analysis of the interviews: osteoporosis is a routine medical condition, lack of physical evidence creates doubt, the mediating role of medical care, and protecting the self from distress. Our findings emphasize the complexity attached to receiving a positive screening result. We suggest considerations for health care providers.
Translated title of the contributionThe Invisible Disease: Making sense of an osteoporosis in older age
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Health Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

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