Journal of Osteoporosis and Physical Activity

Journal of Osteoporosis and Physical Activity
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-9509

+44 1478 350008


Knowledge and Health Beliefs about Osteoporosis amongst 16-18 Year Old Students in Male in the Maldives

Umana Noordeen, Jane Simmonds and Karen Beeton

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by skeletal fragility and a consequent increase in fracture risk. Due to this, osteoporosis is one of the top five conditions causing disability and lengthening hospital stay in the elderly population. Thus, with the global increase in elderly population there will be an enormous rise not only in the economical burden, but also in morbidity and mortality. Therefore, osteoporosis has become a major worldwide public health concern. The key strategy for the prevention of osteoporosis is to maximise bone accrual during childhood and adolescence. Knowledge and health beliefs affect whether preventative behaviours are practiced. This study aimed to assess knowledge and health beliefs about osteoporosis in 16-18 year old students in Malé in the Maldives and to determine preferred sources of health information. A cross sectional questionnaire survey of full time secondary school students between the ages of 16-18 years attending four schools in Malé, the main island in the Maldives was undertaken. A previously validated self-administered questionnaire with minor modifications to suit the local population was distributed to 500 student volunteers. There was a 95% response rate (473/500) with one hundred and sixty four questionnaires (93%) (464/500) were suitable for analysis. Sixty per cent of the participants (n=281) had not heard or read anything about osteoporosis. The mean risk factor knowledge score was 7.05 out of a possible 19 points. More than 50% of the participants had a low level of concern about getting osteoporosis and 71% of the participants did not believe that they were susceptible to the disease. The preferred modes of education and sources of information included the internet and talks from health practitioners. The results suggest that 16-18 year old students in Malé have a low level of knowledge of osteoporosis and perceived the threat of osteoporosis as also low. This indicates that this population is unlikely to be practicing the healthy behaviours required to prevent osteoporosis. The results suggest that education programmes directed towards the health education needs is required. Consideration should be given to the use of the internet and face to face delivery.