Health promotion and health education with particular emphasis on bone diseases among rural population in Poland
Osteoporosis and osteoarthrosis are the most common diseases of bone tissue affecting both rural and urban populations. The aim of the study was to investigate the level of education and requirement for health promotion within the scope of common diseases of the skeletal system among rural population in Poland. This was an exploratory study with a cross-sectional design performed between May 2004–September 2005 in rural areas of 16 Voivodeships (main provinces) of Poland. The study population comprised of 404 (62.9%) rural women and 238 (37.1%) rural men (total 642). All subjects were randomly sampled and recruited by personal contact in primary health care centres. Study data were obtained using a specially prepared questionnaire. The most commonly reported diseases were: arterial hypertension (26.1%), joint degenerative disease (24.6%) and osteoarthritis (14.7%). The occurrence of osteoarthritis and joint degenerative disease increased with age and was highest in the group aged over 50 (21% and 38.7% respectively). Osteoarthitis was more frequent in women compared to men (16% and 12.2% respectively). In most cases, the basic information about methods of prevention and treatment given by a General Practitioner or a specialist was characterized as “satisfactory” (73.6% and 62.9% respectively). The most popular prophylactic action performed in local communities was bone densitometry (14.1%), and the most important source of knowledge - TV and radio (65%). Populations living in rural areas have limited access to health education and health prophylaxis actions, irrespective of the geographical region of Poland. Inhabitants with secondary or higher education, as well as those with a higher household income, have better knowledge about skeletal system diseases compared to those with a lower educational level. The practical implications of this study suggest the necessity for paying more attention to etiology, symptoms and methods of prevention and treatment of bone diseases when attending to patients in specialist practice.
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