Fracture liaison services improve outcomes of patients with osteoporosis-related fractures: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis

Chih Hsing Wu, Shih Te Tu, Yin Fan Chang, Ding Cheng Chan, Jui Teng Chien, Chih Hsueh Lin, Sonal Singh, Manikanta Dasari, Jung Fu Chen, Keh Sung Tsai

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82 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the outcomes of patients with osteoporosis-related fractures managed through fracture liaison services (FLS) programs. Methods: Medline, PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched (January 2000–February 2017 inclusive) using the keywords ‘osteoporosis’, ‘fractures’, ‘liaison’, and 'service’ to identify randomised controlled trials and observational studies of patients aged ≥50 years with osteoporosis-related fractures in hospital, clinic, community, or home-based settings who were managed using FLS. Risk of bias was assessed at outcome level. Meta-analysis followed a random-effects and fixed-effects model. Outcomes of interest were incidence of bone mineral density (BMD) testing, treatment initiation, adherence, re-fractures, and mortality due to osteoporosis treatment. Results: A total of 159 publications were identified for the systematic literature review; 74 controlled studies (16 RCTs; 58 observational studies) were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, 41 of 58 observational studies and 12 of 16 RCTs were considered of high quality. Compared with patients receiving usual care (or those in the control arm), patients receiving care from an FLS program had higher rates of BMD testing (48.0% vs 23.5%) and treatment initiation (38.0% vs 17.2%) and greater adherence (57.0% vs 34.1%). Unweighted average rates of re-fracture were 13.4% among patients in the control arm and 6.4% in the FLS arm. Unweighted average rates of mortality were 15.8% in the control arm and 10.4% in the FLS arm. Meta-analysis revealed significant FLS-associated improvements in all outcomes versus non-FLS controls, with BMD testing increased by 24 percentage points (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.18–0.29), 20 percentage points for treatment rates (95% CI 0.16–0.25), and 22 percentage points for adherence (95% CI 0.13–0.31) and absolute risk of re-fracture reduced by five percentage points (95% CI –0.08 to −0.03) and mortality reduced by three percentage points (95% CI –0.05 to −0.01). Conclusion: FLS programs improved outcomes of osteoporosis-related fractures, with significant increases in BMD testing, treatment initiation, and adherence to treatment and reductions in re-fracture incidence and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-100
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology
  • Physiology


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