Are your patients “Fit to a T”?
By Carolyn Rogers
In recent years, the general public has become keenly aware of the need to track personal health measures such as cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Now it’s time to add the “T-score”—the measure of bone density and susceptibility to fragility fracture—to that important list.
As an orthopaedic surgeon, you can play a key role in spreading the word about the T-score and bone health in general. To assist you in this effort, the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD) has developed Fit to a T—a national bone health and osteoporosis education program designed for presentation at local public libraries, community centers, health/fitness clubs or as lunch-and-learn sessions at local corporations. The free program was developed in collaboration with the Public Library Association, the National Library of Medicine and its National Network of Libraries of Medicine.
A typical Fit to a T program is presented by a three-person team—a physician or other medical expert, a health information specialist/librarian and a patient. Attendees receive an overview on bone health, osteoporosis prevention, the importance of self-assessment (bone-density) tests, relevant risk factors, preventive measures and recommended lifestyle modifications. Each Fit to a T program which lasts 45 to 60 minutes, features a PowerPoint presentation, a demonstration on MedlinePlus, collateral materials, discussion points and a question and answer period. Attendees also receive handout materials such as the Fit to a T: What you need to know about your bone health brochure, a risk-assessment sheet and the Surgeon General’s Osteoporosis: What it means to you booklet.
To help you implement the program in your community, USBJD will:
• Send guidelines on how to organize a session
• Provide the Fit to a T PowerPoint Presentation and program materials
• Supply artwork for promotional flyers and posters to promote the event
• Help coordinate the session and assist with the program schedule
• Provide handout materials and evaluation forms
If you’d like to present Fit to a T in your community, contact the USBJD directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (847) 384-4010. More information on the Fit to a T may also be found at www.fit2t.org.