Author(s): SayedHassan R, Bashour H, Koudsi A
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Abstract SUMMARY: This study was conducted to determine the level of osteoporosis knowledge and beliefs among nursing college students in Damascus. A worrying deficit of knowledge was found. They believed osteoporosis to be a serious disease but did not feel susceptible to or concerned about it. Innovative educational interventions should be considered. PURPOSE: Increasing awareness, knowledge, and promoting healthy behaviors about osteoporosis and related risk factors are effective prevention measures for building and maintaining strong bone throughout the life-span. We hypothesized a lack of knowledge and unhealthy beliefs about osteoporosis among young women in our setting. The level of osteoporosis knowledge, beliefs, and behavior among nursing college students in Damascus was evaluated in this study. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a convenience sample of female young students seen at the nursing school. All students registered for the year 2011-2012 were included in the study. A self-administered questionnaire was implemented. The questionnaire included background information and both osteoporosis-related tools (Arabic version), namely the Osteoporosis Knowledge Assessment Tool (OKAT) and the Osteoporosis Health Belief Scale. RESULTS: A total of 353 female students answered the questionnaire with a response rate of 98.3\%. A worrying deficit of knowledge was found among surveyed Syrian young adult females with a total mean score of 7.9 (2.7) out of possible 20 points, being 39.6\% of possible maximum score on the OKAT. Those young women believed osteoporosis to be a serious disease but did not feel susceptible to or concerned about the illness. Perceived moderate to high barriers to exercises and calcium intake indicated negative health beliefs. CONCLUSIONS: The findings generally reveal poor knowledge about osteoporosis among nursing school female students at Damascus. Integration of osteoporosis in school curricula and public education efforts is urgently needed.
This article was published in Arch Osteoporos
and referenced in Journal of Osteoporosis and Physical Activity