Osteoporosis is a major health concern for 8 million women in the US. Although there is no cure, exercise has been identified as a preventive measure against bone loss. Medical costs for osteoporosis are expected to be $60 billion by 2020. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a difference in the method of exercise instruction and frequency of exercise among older women diagnosed with osteoporosis. Orem’s Self- Care Deficit Theory of Nursing has been selected as the theoretical framework. A nonexperimental, comparison design was used. A convenient sample consisted of 16 females over age 50, diagnosed with osteoporosis who attended an osteoporosis support group in a southern rural state. Data were collected using a researcher designed demographic survey and exercise questionnaire. Collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, analysis of variance (ANOVA), frequency, percentage, and rank order. There were no significant differences between groups, therefore, the researcher failed to reject the null hypothesis. Additional findings revealed a statistically significant difference between groups (p = 0.0065, F = 13.8216, 4) regarding educational level and exercise frequency. The groups with members having higher levels of education exercised more frequently. Walking was a preferred exercise. The number one exercise barrier was pain (43.75%) with co-morbidity and pain (12.75%) second. Younger women, women given exercise instruction by physical demonstration, or women less than or equal to their approximate ideal body weight exercised more frequently. The women who exercised before being diagnosed with osteoporosis, had longer support group attendance, or were given formal exercise instruction exercised more frequently after being diagnosed with osteoporosis. Recommendations for further studies might include replication o f the study to include a more culturally diverse group of participants. Replication o f the study to include male and female subjects of diverse ages and varying levels o f exercise participation. Conduction of a correlational study relating demographic variables such as age, education, and weight with frequency of exercise. Conduction of a comparison study of types of exercise performed related to the types of exercise instruction. Conduction of a correlational study to relate added variables such as identification of previous fractures, bone mineral density readings of the subjects, with frequency of exercise. A better understanding o f the role of exercise instruction in persons with osteoporosis will provide clinicians with more comprehensive, clinical knowledge and possibly prevent fractures or other osteoporosis related complication.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Lynn Chilton

Second Advisor

Melinda Rush

Third Advisor

Sarah M. Howell

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons