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Journal of Osteoporosis
Volume 2014, Article ID 676304, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/676304
Research Article

Osteoporosis Health Beliefs of Women with Increased Risk of the Female Athlete Triad

1Public Health Program, Department of Health Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
2Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
3Public Health Program, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Received 4 December 2013; Accepted 5 February 2014; Published 9 March 2014

Academic Editor: Manuel Diaz Curiel

Copyright © 2014 Vu H. Nguyen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Women with increased risk of the female athlete triad (Triad) are more susceptible to osteoporosis compared to other women. The study included 65 women with increased risk of the Triad who had their osteoporosis health beliefs measured to assess their concern for the disease. Participants were female collegiate cross-country runners at different levels of competition, including National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Divisions III, II, and I. Although these participants have an increased risk of the Triad and are more susceptible to osteoporosis, on a scale of 1 to 5, results showed that they had low to moderate perceived susceptibility to osteoporosis with a mean score as high as 2.81 and moderate perceived severity of osteoporosis with a mean score as high as 3.38. A statistically significant difference in perceived susceptibility to osteoporosis was found between female collegiate cross-country runners in the NAIA and those in the NCAA DIII. Reasons that could explain relatively low levels of concern for osteoporosis in female collegiate cross-country runners and reasons for significant differences in perceived susceptibility to osteoporosis are given, and recommendations for health education and intervention to help care for this population are provided.