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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Sharon Hofland


osteoporosis prevention, health behavior age factors, health attitudes


This study investigated the perceived health beliefs of rural men and women 60 years of age and older towards osteoporosis, and the relationship of those health beliefs to preventive behaviors of osteoporosis.
A positive relationship between perceived benefits of calcium intake and exercise, and health motivation to osteoporosis preventive behaviors was found. These findings may suggest that strategies which influence perceived benefits of calcium intake, exercise, and health motivation may be the most effective methods of increasing osteoporosis preventive behaviors. A negative correlation between benefits of calcium intake and exercise with the older respondents suggests that they did not perceive calcium intake and exercising as benefits in osteoporosis prevention. Also, a positive correlation in barriers of calcium intake and exercise with the older respondents suggests that they viewed calcium intake and exercise participation as barriers to osteoporosis preventive behaviors. This information may be useful for health professionals developing educational programs.
This study found that as a group, they were "neutral" when asked about susceptibility and seriousness of osteoporosis. Also, fewer than one-half of the respondents were informed by their health professional to exercise more, take calcium supplements, and eat more calcium-rich foods. These findings suggest that health professionals need to assess an individual's knowledge level of osteoporosis and promote healthful osteoporosis preventive behaviors.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Osteoporosis -- Prevention
Health behavior -- Age factors
Health attitudes



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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