Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Aleksandra Zecevic

Second Advisor

Dr. Jan Polgar

Third Advisor

Dr. Lilian Magalhaes


Approximately 1.4 million Canadians live with osteoporosis with over 530,000 in Ontario. Research suggests a relationship between osteoporotic vertebral fractures and a decreased ability to perform activities of daily living, an increase in overall level of disability, and ability to engage in leisure activities. How information and current programs and services relate to the needs of patients with osteoporosis requires further exploration. This study uses a phenomenological approach to explore the specific needs of individuals with osteoporotic vertebral fractures living independently in the community. Three focus groups were conducted with a total of nine participants recruited through the Regional Osteoporosis Clinic. An environmental scan of currently available programs and services in London, Ontario was conducted. Inductive content analysis was used to understand the women's needs for information, programs and services. Findings suggest a discrepancy between participants expressed needs and currently available information, programs, and services. Results indicate that women perceive osteoporotic vertebral fractures through three lenses: journey to diagnosis, learning about the condition, and adapting to the condition. Three major gaps were identified including lack of linking a person to osteoporosis information, lack of programs and services for those with osteoporotic vertebral fractures, and health care system barriers. Findings from this study may inform future health promotion and service delivery strategies offered by the Osteoporosis Canada and the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy.



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