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Bone health risk assessment in a clinical setting: an evaluation of a new screening tool for active populations

MOJ Sports Medicine
Nicola Keay,1 Gavin Francis,2 Karen Hind3


Introduction: Risk factors for poor bone health are not restricted to older, sedentary populations for whom current screening is focused. Furthermore, access to dual X-ray absorptiometry scanning can be limited in clinical practice. The purpose of the current study was to develop a bone health-screening tool suitable for inclusion of both younger and active populations, combined with assessing bone health with radiofrequency echographic multi spectrometry technology (REMS). Methodology: Participants (n=88) attending a physiotherapy clinic in the UK was recruited to the study: 71 women (mean age 41.5 SD 14.0 years); 17 men (mean age 40.2 SD 14.9 years). Participants completed an online bone health-screening questionnaire developed specifically for this study covering a range of lifestyle, physiological factors, combined with medical interview and received bone mineral density (BMD) measurement at the lumbar spine and femoral neck using REMS. Results: Scoring of the bone health-screening questionnaire produced a distribution of bone health scores, with lower scores suggesting a higher risk for poor bone health. In women, scores ranged from -10 to +12, mean score 2.2 (SD 4.8). In men, scores ranged from 0 to 12, mean score 6.9 (SD 3.2). A positive correlation was observed between the bone health score derived from the questionnaire and lumbar spine and femoral neck BMD Z-scores (p<0.01). Conclusions: This new and comprehensive bone health-screening questionnaire with interview was effective in identifying active individuals at risk of bone fragility, who might be missed by current screening methods. The use of REMS technology to measure bone health was feasible in the clinical setting.


bone health, risk, screening, radiofrequency echographic multi spectrometry (REMS)