Men's experiences of having osteoporosis vertebral fractures: a qualitative study using interpretative phenomenological analyses.
Minns Lowe CJ., Toye F., Barker KL.
Men and women with vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis are treated differently by society and health care professionals. This can lead to inequalities in health care and affects how men with fractures view themselves as people. We need to raise awareness that men get these fractures as well as women. INTRODUCTION: There is a lack of research exploring the experience of osteoporosis from the male perspective. This study was undertaken to explore and describe the experiences of men with vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis, including their perceptions of diagnosis, treatment and changes in their sense of self. METHODS: The study consists of in-depth semi-structured interviews with nine male participants of the PROVE (Physiotherapy Rehabilitation for Osteoporotic Vertebral Fracture) study. Interviews were digitally audio recorded and fully transcribed. Data were coded in accordance with an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach to analyses. RESULTS: Three main themes are presented. (i) Osteoporosis is considered an old women's disease. (ii) Men are diagnosed and treated differently than women in the NHS. Health care inequalities exist. (iii) Changes in self can occur in men after vertebral fracture/s due to osteoporosis. CONCLUSIONS: Greater awareness that men get this condition is needed in both society in general and also by health care professionals who often do not expect osteoporosis to affect men. Approaches to diagnosis and treatment need to be considered and improved to ensure that they become appropriate and effective for men as well as women.