Evaluation of Osteoporosis Educational Interventions on Knowledge, Health Beliefs, Self-Efficacy, Dietary Calcium and Vitamin D Intakes
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Osteoporosis is a serious public health issue, which is growing in significance because of our aging population. It is estimated that 34 million individuals in the United States are at risk for osteoporosis. Education may be key to increasing preventative behaviors in younger adults to help prevent osteoporosis in later life. One purpose of this study was to determine the validity and reliability of three revised scales, which were revised to include vitamin D related items: Osteoporosis Knowledge Test -D, Osteoporosis Health Belief Scale-D, and the Osteoporosis Self-Efficacy Scale-D. These revised scales were then used to determine the effects of educational interventions (lecture versus hands-on activities) on osteoporosis knowledge, health beliefs, self-efficacy, dietary calcium, and dietary vitamin D intake in a sample of college age adults. A sample of 153 college age men and women completed online pre- and post-questionnaires to assess osteoporosis knowledge, health beliefs, and self-efficacy using the validated revised Osteoporosis Knowledge Test (OKT-D), revised Osteoporosis Health Belief Scale (OHBS-D), and revised Osteoporosis Self-Efficacy Scale (OSES-D) respectively. Pre and post three-day food diaries were used to assess dietary calcium, vitamin D, and kcalorie intake. In general, the college age adults in this sample were low in osteoporosis knowledge. Both intervention styles increased osteoporosis knowledge and health beliefs but not self-efficacy. Dietary calcium intakes at baseline met the recommendations while dietary vitamin D did not. No significant increases were found in dietary calcium or vitamin D intake after the educational interventions. Osteoporosis health beliefs were a significant predictor of dietary calcium intake (p<.044) and vitamin D intake (p<.047) accounting for approximately 11.2% and 10.1% of the variance respectively. Self-efficacy was a significant predictor of vitamin D intake (p<.01) only, accounting for approximately 7.3% of the variance. These findings suggest different types of osteoporosis educational interventions may increase knowledge and health beliefs in college-age adults but may not change behaviors. Perhaps tailored interventions towards specific health beliefs and self-efficacy are needed to warrant behavior change.