5 years ago

Non-participation in systematic screening for osteoporosis—the ROSE trial

M. Højberg, C.-C. Glüer, A. P. Hermann, K. Brixen, T. Holmberg, S. Möller, K. H. Rubin, R. Barkmann, M. J. Rothmann, M. Bech, J. Gram



Population-based screening for osteoporosis is still controversial and has not been implemented. Non-participation in systematic screening was evaluated in 34,229 women age 65–81 years. Although participation rate was high, non-participation was associated with comorbidity, aging other risk factors for fractures, and markers of low social status, e.g., low income, pension, and living alone. A range of strategies is needed to increase participation, including development of targeted information and further research to better understand the barriers and enablers in screening for osteoporosis.


Participation is crucial to the success of a screening program. The objective of this study was to analyze non-participation in Risk-stratified Osteoporosis Strategy Evaluation, a two-step population-based screening program for osteoporosis.


Thirty-four thousand two hundred twenty-nine women aged 65 to 81 years were randomly selected from the background population and randomized to either a screening group (intervention) or a control group. All women received a self-administered questionnaire designed to allow calculation of future risk of fracture based on FRAX. In the intervention group, women with an estimated high risk of future fracture were invited to DXA scanning. Information on individual socioeconomic status and comorbidity was obtained from national registers.


A completed questionnaire was returned by 20,905 (61%) women. Non-completion was associated with older age, living alone, lower education, lower income, and higher comorbidity. In the intervention group, ticking “not interested in DXA” in the questionnaire was associated with older age, living alone, and low self-perceived fracture risk. Women with previous fracture or history of parental hip fracture were more likely to accept screening by DXA. Dropping out when offered DXA, was associated with older age, current smoking, higher alcohol consumption, and physical impairment.


Barriers to population-based screening for osteoporosis appear to be both psychosocial and physical in nature. Women who decline are older, have lower self-perceived fracture risk, and more often live alone compared to women who accept the program. Dropping out after primary acceptance is associated not only with aging and physical impairment but also with current smoking and alcohol consumption. Measures to increase program participation could include targeted information and reducing physical barriers for attending screening procedures.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00198-017-4205-y

DOI: 10.1007/s00198-017-4205-y

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