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A personal perspective on fracture risk assessment tools

Ettinger, Bruce MD

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31817f3e4d
Personal Perspective

The World Health Organization and the Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education have each recently posted fracture risk assessment tools on Web sites. To be most useful, these tools need to provide risk data in a form that is easily used by clinicians as they discuss treatment options with their patients. This article critiques these two tools and offers clinicians suggestions for key elements that should be included in fracture risk reports. Reports based on risk assessment tools need to provide data in a meaningful form that patients can easily grasp. Much more than risk numbers are needed, and, ideally, fracture risk tools should be integrated into bone densitometry reporting or placed into comprehensive, user-friendly, decision aids.

Two new, web-based fracture risk assessment tools are critiqued. More attention must be given to the way that risk results are presented to both providers and patients.

From the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Received April 7, 2008; revised and accepted May 8, 2008.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Ettinger has received honoraria for lectures or consultation fees from the following entities involved with osteoporosis: Berlex, Eli Lilly, Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education, GlaxoSmithKline, The North American Menopause Society, Organon, Proctor & Gamble, and Tethys Biosciences.

Address correspondence to: Bruce Ettinger, MD, 156 Lombard Street #13, San Francisco, CA 94111. E-mail:

©2008The North American Menopause Society