Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Guidelines for doctors managing osteoporosis in the Asia-Pacific region vary widely. We compared 18 guidelines for similarities and differences in five key areas. We then used a structured consensus process to develop clinical standards of care for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis and for improving the quality of care.
Purpose: Minimum clinical standards for assessment and management of osteoporosis are needed in the Asia-Pacific (AP) region to inform clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and to improve osteoporosis care. We present the framework of these clinical standards and describe its development.
Methods: We conducted a structured comparative analysis of existing CPGs in the AP region using a "5IQ" model (identification, investigation, information, intervention, integration, and quality). One-hundred data elements were extracted from each guideline. We then employed a four-round Delphi consensus process to structure the framework, identify key components of guidance, and develop clinical care standards.
Results: Eighteen guidelines were included. The 5IQ analysis demonstrated marked heterogeneity, notably in guidance on risk factors, the use of biochemical markers, self-care information for patients, indications for osteoporosis treatment, use of fracture risk assessment tools, and protocols for monitoring treatment. There was minimal guidance on long-term management plans or on strategies and systems for clinical quality improvement. Twenty-nine APCO members participated in the Delphi process, resulting in consensus on 16 clinical standards, with levels of attainment defined for those on identification and investigation of fragility fractures, vertebral fracture assessment, and inclusion of quality metrics in guidelines.
Conclusion: The 5IQ analysis confirmed previous anecdotal observations of marked heterogeneity of osteoporosis clinical guidelines in the AP region. The Framework provides practical, clear, and feasible recommendations for osteoporosis care and can be adapted for use in other such vastly diverse regions. Implementation of the standards is expected to significantly lessen the global burden of osteoporosis.


Volume, issue, and pagination are not provided by the author/publisher

Publication (Name of Journal)

Osteoporosis International

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License