Osteoporosis knowledge and practice among Malaysian university students.

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From: Journal of Pakistan Medical Association(Vol. 71, Issue 2)
Publisher: Knowledge Bylanes
Document Type: Report
Length: 3,449 words
Lexile Measure: 1680L

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Byline: Chin Yi Chan, Shaanthana Subramaniam, Keesha Ravintharan, Soelaiman Ima-Nirwana and Kok-Yong Chin

Keywords: Awareness, Behaviour, Bone, Lifestyle, Physical activity.


Bone growth during adolescence is a strong determinant of lifelong skeletal health, as the greatest deposition of bone occurs during this period.1 Preventive interventions should therefore begin early to prevent osteoporosis in later stages of life. Since knowledge may be one of the factors leading to good practices in bone protection, assessment of knowledge regarding osteoporosis among the younger population is important in the planning of osteoporosis prevention strategies. A recent systemic review has shown that knowledge of osteoporosis and good bone protective practices among the younger population remains low in many countries.2

A number or studies have been conducted to discuss the understanding, behaviours and practices regarding osteoporosis among younger populations in different countries.3,4 Several have evaluated knowledge of osteoporosis using the Osteoporosis Knowledge Assessment Tool (OKAT),5 which primarily evaluates the knowledge and treatment of osteoporosis. However, awareness of osteoporosis prevention may be more important to younger generations. The Osteoporosis Prevention and Awareness Tool (OPAAT) was therefore used in this study to assess the knowledge of osteoporosis and its prevention among subjects. In addition, past studies assessing knowledge and/or practice regarding osteoporosis did not include participants of both sexes.6 Some studies indicated that females were more knowledgeable about osteoporosis, but that they also had higher barriers to osteoprotective actions compared to males.7,8

Previously, Nadiah et al. found that female undergraduate students in a Malaysian health campus were more experienced than males in osteoporosis prevention activity and had higher calcium intakes.1 Male students were more physically active but had a higher intakes of caffeine and carbonated beverages.1 The sample size of this study was fairly small and did not include all three races (Chinese, Malay and Indian etc) of Malaysia. Khan et al. researched senior-year students of a Malaysian public university9 and found that female students were more knowledgeable than males in bone health and that Chinese students had higher scores of knowledge and practices regarding bone health compared to other races. However, this study did not assess physical activity, a significant determinant of bone health among the students.

In order to address the research gaps in this area, a study was conducted to assess the awareness (on disease and prevention) and practices of osteoporosis among students of different ethnic groups at a Malaysian public university. The objective of the study was to highlight the level of knowledge and practice of younger Malaysians regarding osteoporosis and to identify areas to improve their bone health.

Subjects and Methods

A cross-sectional study of students at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia was conducted from January 2018 to March 2018. Calculation of the sample size was based on the formula n = [Z2 x P (1-P)] / d2, whereby Z is for confidence level at 95% (value = 1.96), P is the proportion of students with the correct understanding of the definition of osteoporosis (value = 0.87, derived from the study of Khan et al.9)...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A660387876