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This prospective, single centre study was designed to assess the effect of an educational
intervention on osteoporosis- related health behaviour in patients of osteoporosis and
their families.
A hundred children, aged 4 to 12 years, accompanying their parents/ grandparent
to the OPD, were gifted an educational board game based on the snakes & ladders pattern
costing< US$ 0.50, designed to promote healthy behaviour related to osteoporosis.
The board had 10 ladders and 10 snakes, representing healthy and negative
behaviors. There were 2 healthy and 3 unhealthy behaviors related to diet, 4 and 2 to
exercise, 2 and 3 to treatment-seeking and 2 each to fall prevention. 15 of the behaviors
were relevant to children as well.
All parents were requested to play the game frequently with their children/
grandchildren and return after 1 month.
Evaluation was done using a pretested questionnaire in English. Of the 82 patients
who returned within 3 months, 18 had lost the game, 15 had not played it and 49 had used
it regularly.
48 patients reported being reminded by their children to take medication / visit the
doctor. 48 reported increase in time spent outdoors playing with children gardening or
exercise and 12 mentioned architectural changes carried out at home to reduce the risk of
falls. 29 informed about changes in cooking patterns at home to ensure a healthier diet.
The group of 49 patients who had used the game was compared with the 33 who
did not, using validated questionnaires to assess exercise behaviors, sunlight exposure
and physician visits.
Time spent in stretching exercise was 0 ± 0 minute/ day and 45 ± 0 minute/ day,
was that spent in aerobics was 0 ± 0 and 15 ± 0 minutes/ day respectively (p<0.001).
Sunlight exposure was 9.8 ± 1.69 and 10.9 ± 0.99, while visits to the physician were
1.62 ± 2.23 and 2.82 ± 2.36 respectively, in the groups who did not use and who did use
the game. (p = 0.09; p = 0.06).
This study demonstrates the utility of an economical board game-based
educational intervention in improving behavior related to osteoporosis management.