To explore the perceptions of patients who have sustained a fragility fracture regarding their future fracture risk and the beliefs underlying their perceptions.
Patients with fragility fracture participated in a telephone interview. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to characterize patient characteristics and perspectives of future fracture risk. Content analysis of qualitative statements was independently performed by three investigators to identify common themes and contrasting statements, and the findings were discussed to ensure consensus.
Consistent themes were identified among participant responses irrespective of whether they responded "yes", "no" or "unsure" when asked whether they were at increased fracture risk: (1) patients' perception of risk was influenced by whether or not they believed they had osteoporosis, which may be altered by interaction with health care providers; (2) patients' had their own perceptions of their bone health; (3) patients' attributed their risk to their own actions or "carefulness"; and (4) patients' had specific beliefs about their fracture and determinants of fracture risk.
Patients who experience fragility fractures develop perceptions about future fracture risk that are influenced by interactions with health care providers, as well as beliefs about their fracture and beliefs that they can modify their risk.
Health care providers should discuss strategies for fracture prevention with all patients after fragility fracture to ensure that patients understand that participation in preventative behaviours can modify their risk.