WEEK 1: Destructive Diseases

Lena T -

Hello! Welcome to my Week One blog post!

I have officially put together a total of 35 surveys ready to search for participants. Patients and patient’s family members are welcome to fill out the Osteoporosis survey. There is a consent form attached to the survey going over my mission, the benefits, as well as the protocols that I will strictly follow to protect patients’ personal information, such as name and birthdate. I will be asking patients for their bone density scans, medications, and lifestyle choices such as frequency of exercise, diet, and product use. Participants will be identified by assigned patient number which will be on the top of the consent form. The survey is voluntary, and I will remind the patients that they will not be penalized for refusing to participate. I will be working closely with Donna (RN BSN) to get access to participant’s DEXA scans as well as any questions that may come along the way.

Through my survey, I hope to compare patients who do have Osteoporosis with patients who do not to seek out what may be the underlying factors that affect the progression of the disease later in life. According to the National Library of Medicine and as well as many other articles I have read, moderate consumption of alcohol can promote bone growth, however, overconsumption of alcohol can cause bone degradation. How much is too much alcohol? Will it different for females versus males? Many unknowns continue to unveil as I continue to search for answers. What must a diet consist of in order to help patients build bone? Is genetics simply the determining factor of the condition? Can lifestyle factors such as breastfeeding, amounts of sunshine, and organic hygiene products slow down the development of the disease? Can other autoimmune diseases be linked to the ‘silent disease’ resulting in comorbidity? Are patients taking medications that have side effects that decrease Vitamin D/Calcium/Vitamin K? These are key points that I hope to unlock through my survey.

This week I have successfully gathered 4 surveys. I plan to continue spreading the word about my surveys by personally asking patients if they wish to participate. A problem I have encountered this week is if the patient has a DEXA scan, but it was taken in another state, I may not be able to get my hands on it. I hope to combat this through following up with the participants to request a copy if they have one on hand.

Survey stack in the waiting room!
Survey stack in the waiting room!

Check in next week for my Week Two post! See you soon!

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All viewpoints are welcome but profane, threatening, disrespectful, or harassing comments will not be tolerated and are subject to moderation up to, and including, full deletion.

    Sofia R
    What is a DEXA scan? How important is it to your research?
    Hello Sofia! A DEXA scan is a bone density test. To be diagnosed for Osteoporosis or Osteopenia, a bone density test can be taken to determine the T-score. T-score from +1 to -1 is normal bone density, -1 to -2.5 indicates Osteopenia, and -2.5 or lower indicates Osteoporosis. It is important in my research to compare T-scores between different patients!
    Good job!! What are some of the protocols you have to follow to protect a patient's personal information? What does comorbidity mean?
    Toby Chang
    Great progress - how do you plan to effectively gather as many surveys as you can? Are you planning on conducting outreach to other clinics as well?
    Hello Yajaira! I will be deidentifying patients by assigning them numbers so no information such as name or birthdate would be shared, I plan to compile all information on an excel sheet in April and I will be referring each patient by their assigned number. Any information on paper such as DEXA scans, medication lists, and past surgical history would be shredded at the end of my project. There will be selective access to the surveys so only Donna and I will be able to access it. Comorbidity means that there is a simultaneous existence of two or more diseases or medical condition in the patient.
    Hi Toby! I plan to get more participants by personally asking patients if they wish to participate. I notice many seem to hesitate because they feel as if they do not qualify certain standards to fill out the survey. If I ask them to participate, it opens up a space for them to ask questions. Outreaching towards other clinics was an idea I had previously but because I do not intern at other clinics, pulling reports from portals like DEXA scans and answering questions is a tad bit difficult. I do hope to expand this in the future so outreaching to other clinics would definitely be my first plan!
    Although it makes sense, it is interesting how scrutinous you have to be to ensure the patient's security and informed consent. I hope you have many more surveys to come!

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