Management of oral bisphosphonates treatment by rheumatologists and determinants of therapeutic changes: a case-vignette-based study
Using case vignette methodology, this study shows that only 4% of patients are maintained on oral bisphosphonates over 5 years, and prescribers switch or stop the treatment in 20–30% of cases at each visit. There are few determinants of these changes. More information on appropriate follow-up could help in patients’ management.
Persistence to oral bisphosphonates, the most commonly prescribed anti-osteoporotic treatments, is low. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of rheumatologists on the treatment patterns, and to assess the determinants of treatment changes.
We used the methodology of case vignettes with the participation of 142 rheumatologists. Three baseline clinical vignettes were presented: (1) the physician was asked to indicate the most appropriate period to schedule the next visit over 5 years, (2) the physician was tested about parameters for follow-up (including traps), and (3) various results (both clinical, biological, densitometric, and radiological) were given by random and analyzed as determinants of treatment changes.
The study allowed assessment of 426 virtual clinical cases. Clinical examinations, patient’s height, inquiries about falls, and adherence to treatment were deemed necessary in > 90% of cases. Bone mineral density was measured in 22, 40, and 71% of cases at 2, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Dental follow-up was recommended in less than 25% of cases. Only 4.2% of patients were maintained on the same treatment at 5 years, and a change of treatment (stop or switch) occurs in 20–30% of cases at each visit. Significant determinants were adherence to treatment, serum C-terminal crosslinking telopeptide of type 1 collagen (CTX) value, change in patient’s height, and the occurrence of an incident vertebral fracture.
Our study shows that maintenance of oral bisphosphonate in postmenopausal women managed by rheumatologists is low; there are few determinants of these changes and more information on appropriate follow-up could help in patients’ management.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00198-017-4188-8
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