English, Article edition: Unique Co-Operative Worksite-Based Osteoporosis Project: Employer, Healthcare Plan and Pharmaceutical Company Combine Efforts to Screen and Manage Women at Risk Larry K. Cantley; Cheryl Summers; David E. Rice

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Physical Description
  • article
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Unique Co-Operative Worksite-Based Osteoporosis Project: Employer, Healthcare Plan and Pharmaceutical Company Combine Efforts to Screen and Manage Women at Risk
Author
  • Larry K. Cantley
  • Cheryl Summers
  • David E. Rice
Physical Description
  • article
Notes
  • Background: Osteoporosis is considered a disease that affects elderly women. Younger, working-aged women are seldom considered to be at risk, although low bone mass may occur at menopause or even earlier. Bone density testing for working women may therefore be considered of low priority for both women and their employers, especially if they perceive that there is a low risk of having low bone density at this age. We have designed a project to test bone density of women at their worksites. Objective: To: 1. create a method to detect silent bone loss in an employed population of women at their worksite; 2. create a service to provide education and assist in compliance with management of low bone density for those affected; 3. measure the effectiveness of these interventions. Study design and methods: This study is a collaboration of an employer, the managed care organization, which provides healthcare coverage for this employer, and a pharmaceutical company which has long been involved in bone density research. We performed bone density screening of working women at their worksites who, based on a risk assessment, were potentially at risk of osteopenia or osteoporosis. Forearm bone density was assessed for each woman. For those women found to have low bone mass, a series of interventions, including worksite counseling and periodic telephonic follow-up, was provided to help them understand more fully their screening results and the need for interventions, including lifestyle changes, and follow-up with their primary care physicians for diagnosis and treatment. Data were collected before and after the interventions for each woman to measure outcomes, compliance and satisfaction with the screenings and interventions. Participants: 52 women employed by Sara Lee Corporation who participated in the healthcare trial and were found to have low bone density. All agreed to participate in the year-long interventions. Results: We found that these women reported increased knowledge about low bone density, compliance with their medications, and lifestyle habits following screening, counseling and periodic telephonic follow-up. In addition, as a result of the screenings performed, a significant proportion of these women (with low bone mass) were confirmed to have osteopenia or osteoporosis by their physicians, and started on therapy. Satisfaction with the screening process and telephonic management was uniformly high, with >95% of the women rating the services of the project as `good' or `excellent'. Conclusion: A worksite-based bone density testing method such as this was well received by those who participated. It led to improved detection and treatment of a group of younger, working-aged women who may have otherwise not undergone such testing until a much later age, if at all. This earlier detection and treatment may prevent further loss of bone mass and likelihood of clinical fracture. The collaboration between an employer, a managed care organization, and a pharmaceutical company enhanced the design and delivery of a functional project for a worksite-based bone density screening and contributed largely to its success.
  • Disease management programmes, Osteoporosis, Pharmacoeconomics
  • RePEc:wkh:dmhout:v:9:y:2001:i:11:p:641-649
Language
  • English
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