The Relationship of Perceived Risk and Biases in Perceived Risk to Fracture Prevention Behavior in Older Women.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Volume 49, Issue 5, p.696-703 (2015)


BACKGROUND: A bias in perceived risk for health outcomes, including fracture, exists. PURPOSE: We compared perceived risk and biases in perceived risk for fracture to fracture preventive behavior. METHODS: Women over age 55 (n = 2874) completed a survey five times over 5 years, and data was pulled from the medical record. Perceived risk was measured by asking women to rate their risk of fracture compared to similar women. Actual risk was measured using FRAX score. Bias was measured using an interaction between perceived and actual risk. RESULTS: Higher perceived risk was related to lower quality of life and self-reported health, more medication and calcium use, increased bone density scan use, and less walking. Bias was only associated with less medication use. Neither perceived risk nor bias predicted medication adherence. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived risk, but not bias, may predict different fracture prevention behaviors. Clinicians may need to base interventions on risk perceptions.