First-degree relatives of persons suffering from osteoporosis: Beliefs, knowledge, and health-related behavior

Perla Werner, David Olchovsky, Hava Erlich-Gelaki, Iris Vered

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of the present study was to compare the beliefs, knowledge, and health-related behaviors of first-degree relatives (FDRs) of osteoporotic women with a comparison group of women not having a FDR with osteoporosis. Research design: Telephone interviews. Participants: Participants were 172 women (48 FDRs and 124 comparisons), recruited by a systematic sampling from the list of all women aged 40+ attending an outpatient screening program at a large tertiary medical center in Israel. Methods: Information was collected regarding participants' perceived susceptibility to develop osteoporosis, perceived concerns, and perceived prevention optimism. Additionally, information was collected regarding knowledge about osteoporosis, and participation in screening and preventive behavior. Results: Participants in the FDR group reported higher perceived susceptibility and higher concerns about developing the disease than participants in the comparison group. A higher proportion of FDRs reported engaging in screening behavior, but no differences were found in preventive behaviors. Screening behavior was associated with perceived concerns and age for members of the comparison group, and with age for FDRs. Conclusions: FDRs are characterized by greater perceived vulnerability and concerns. However, they are no more likely to engage in preventive behaviors or have more knowledge about the disease. These findings stress the importance of expanding efforts to increase the knowledge and awareness of at-risk persons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003


  • First-degree relatives
  • Osteoporosis
  • Perceived susceptibility
  • Preventive behavior
  • Screening behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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