Survey Finds Bone Density Scanning Centers Fall Short

May 20, 2020

According to a global study carried out at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU, University of Southampton.) in collaboration with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD), the quality of bone density scanning centers is highly inconsistent and needs to be improved.

According to a global study carried out at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU, University of Southampton.) in collaboration with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD), the quality of bone density scanning centers is highly inconsistent and needs to be improved.

Low bone density, measured using Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), is common among older people and is associated with increased risk of osteoporotic fractures. Osteoporotic fractures are associated with disability, mortality and significant economic costs.

A global survey of 121 fracture liaison services (organizations which identify and provide treatment for patients at risk of secondary fractures) from 31 countries was conducted to assess the quality of their bone scanning facilities. These services participated in the Capture the Fracture® Best Practice Framework which provides globally-endorsed standards for fracture liaison services.

The study, published in Osteoporosis International, found that most fracture liaison services reported that DXA access met needs. However, adherence to basic DXA quality and reporting procedures was confirmed by only around 50% of services and over 50% required ongoing education for DXA machine operators and interpreters.

Professor Christopher Shuhart, co-author and Immediate Past President of ISCD stated: "Although DXA service access meets needs, many centers are falling short of quality standards. The findings emphasize the need for educational initiatives targeting DXA measurement technology and reporting, such as adoption of the joint IOF-ISCD Osteoporosis Essentials course."

Clynes, M.A., Westbury, L.D., Dennison, E.M. et al. Bone densitometry worldwide: a global survey by the ISCD and IOF. Osteoporos Int (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-020-05435-8

Osteoporosis Essentials: Densitometry, Diagnosis and Management Course: This joint IOF-ISCD global course covers the latest knowledge on densitometry, diagnosis and management of osteoporosis, with separate tracks for Clinicians and Technologists. An Attestation of Achievement is awarded to all participants who successfully complete the course and the examination. https://www.osteoporosis-essentials.org/