session patient-dialogue-latam-june_2024

On June 14, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) hosted a dialogue session with osteoporosis patients in Puebla, Mexico, as part of the XXIII Mexican Congress of Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism. This was the second IOF patient dialogue session, on a larger scale, following a pilot session held in France last year. 

The session aimed to listen to the voice of osteoporosis patients, their experiences, and concerns related to the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Participants were convened through IOF member medical societies. The event was held in a hybrid format, combining face-to-face participation with streaming. This allowed patients from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, and Peru to join the discussion, broadening the scope and enriching the exchange of perspectives. 

Professor Jean-Yves Reginsterformer Chairman of the IOF Committee of National Societies and current IOF Secretary General, opened the session and underlined the importance of listening to the voice of patients:

"Putting the patient at the center of our work is our priority. Today we are here to listen to you. The IOF Committee of National Societies has more than 300 member societies speaking different languages, so we have decided to take this process one step at a time. The first patient dialogue session was held in France. The language sharing between countries and the strong network of IOF national societies in Latin America, together with the support of health professionals here, has been one of the reasons why we chose to do the second edition in this region. We want these sessions to be a space for them to share their feelings, fears, and perspectives on osteoporosis, its diagnosis and treatment. For IOF, this is a great opportunity to listen to patients and for them to guide us on what they need and what we, as a foundation, should and need to do for people living with osteoporosis to improve their quality of life".

The conversation was moderated by Dr. Alí Ruiz Coronel, social science expert from the Autonomous University of Mexico, and Prof. Patricia Clark, IOF Board member for Latin America. Throughout the afternoon, patients shared their experiences and challenges, allowing for a deep and meaningful dialogue. The geographic diversity of the participants further enriched the discussion, bringing a wide variety of experiences and realities. All those present highlighted the vital connection they have with their doctors and how dialogue with them gives them greater confidence about their diagnosis. They also expressed their main concerns, which include: 

  • The fear of fractures and the consequences this has on their daily lives. 
  • The need for better access to treatment. 
  • Financial barriers to receiving adequate medical care. 
  • The importance of psychological support to manage the emotional impact of the disease.

From these valuable contributions, several future actions were identified, including the writing of an academic paper to document and disseminate the findings of the session and the development of educational and awareness programmes. Prof. Clark stated:

"It is a privilege to be able to implement this type of initiative in our region. Listening to the voice of patients not only allows us to better understand their needs, but also strengthens our intervention strategies, ensuring that they are aligned with the realities and expectations of those living with this condition. We thank all the patients who participated and shared their stories. Your voice is crucial to us, and we will continue to work to ensure that your needs and concerns are heard and addressed effectively." 


Lic. Mónica Caló, IOF Regional Manager for Latin America added: "The dialogue session is an important step towards a more connected and collaborative regional osteoporosis patient community. We are committed to continue working together with patients, health professionals and policy makers to improve the quality of life for all people living with osteoporosis."