Free resources, tools at USBJD booth
By Jill Elaine Hughes, MA
How can you raise awareness among your patients of the importance of bone health? Visit the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD) booth, located on the upper level of the San Diego Convention Center, for a variety of educational materials and patient-care tools free of charge to Academy members.
The materials are being made available as part of the first major promotional campaign by the new AAOS USBJD Committee, chaired by Kimberly J. Templeton, MD.
“The Bone and Joint Decade focuses on issues that affect all orthopaedic patients,” says Dr. Templeton. “With the variety of educational resources available through the USBJD, AAOS fellows can integrate Decade activities into their practices, benefiting both themselves and their patients.”
This year’s Annual Meeting highlights two major USBJD public education programs—Fit to a T and PB&J (“Protect Your Bones and Joints”).
Fit to a T
Fit to a T is a public education program focusing on bone health, bone mineral density, and osteoporosis. Developed in response to the Surgeon General’s first report on bone health and osteoporosis, and in partnership with the Public Library Association and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, the program aims to educate the public on the risk factors for osteoporosis as well as how to prevent the disease.
The “T” in the title refers to a person’s T-score, which measures bone density and susceptibility to fragility fracture. Osteoporosis is the most prevalent bone condition among Americans; among those older than age 50, nearly one in two women and one in four men are likely to experience it in their lifetime.
Fit to a T should be of interest to people of all ages, but it is especially targeted at men and women in their mid-40s to late 60s. Designed to assist people who are highly susceptible to osteoporotic fractures or have already experienced a fragility fracture, the program has as its chief goal educating patients on how to prevent osteoporosis before they have a fracture.
In 2006, more than 2,850 people attended the 52 Fit to a T session that were held. Sessions were organized by public libraries, church and community groups, hospitals, corporations, dance companies, health clubs, government agencies and military bases. Presenters included members of the AAOS, the American College of Rheumatology, the American Physical Therapy Association, the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
PB&J (Protect your Bones and Joints) is a public educational program for teens and young adults, designed to increase their knowledge of musculoskeletal disorders and bone health. It aims to raise awareness among young people about the high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders—the No.1 reason for patient visits to a physician in the United States.
It also stresses the fact that the teen and young adult years are the best time to take steps to prevent bone disease later in life. By developing healthy bone habits—such as proper diet, weight-bearing exercise, and safer sports practices—in the teen years and early adulthood, today’s teens can have a major impact on their future bone health as well as the future bone health of America.
“The efforts of the Decade and the AAOS will hopefully raise the profile of these conditions, leading to improved care, increased research funding, and increased research opportunities,” says Dr. Templeton
It’s easy to get involved
Offering these two programs in your community can have a positive impact on both your community and your practice, according to Dr. Templeton. “Stephanie Siegrist, MD, in New York, presented several sessions of Fit to a T in her local community,” says Dr. Templeton. “This brought her and her practice additional visibility, and provided material that was well-received.”
The Decade also offers orthopaedic surgeons a variety of other educational resources on musculoskeletal conditions that they can integrate into their practices to benefit both themselves and their patients.
“Fellows can refer patients to both the Decade’s (www.usbjd.org) and the Academy’s (www.orthoinfo.org) patient-education Web sites for more information on specific musculoskeletal conditions,” says Dr. Templeton. “They can also present the various USBJD public education programs locally to increase the visibility of orthopaedic surgeons in their communities and nationally.”
More information on both of these programs—including how you can set up a Fit to a T or PB&J educational session in your community—is available at the USBJD booth, San Diego Convention Center upper level, near Ballroom 20.
Jill Elaine Hughes is the AAOS clinical quality improvement coordinator and staff liaison to the AAOS USBJD Committee.