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The University of Southampton
Observational Study Examining Osteoporosis

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we aim to answer some of your questions about the research. If there is anything else that you want to know, please contact us.

Why is the research being done?

The research is looking into osteoporosis and fractures to try to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment.

Who is suitable for the research? Why have I been approached?

We are researching hip fracture so are approaching patients who have had a hip fracture and have had hip replacement surgery for this at the University Hospital Southampton.

How long will I have to decide?

A researcher will contact you after your surgery and explain the research to you, giving you a copy of the patient information sheet and leaving you to decide if you want to take part. They will come back to you after 24 hours at the very earliest to ask if you want to take part. There is no obligation to take part and saying 'no' will not affect care in any way. If you decide to take part then you will be asked to sign a consent form.

What happens to me during the research?

If you agree to take part, the researchers will ask you questions to assess your fracture risk (including alcohol consumption, weight and family history), to assess your mobility and to contact you (such as telephone number and address). Example questionnaires are available in the right hand banner. Whilst you are are in the hospital following your operation, they will also take a blood sample and arrange an appointment for an assessment session, approximately one month later.

At the assessment session you will have two scans, a bone density scan (DEXA) and a scan of your arm (pQCT). Neither scan is closed in: the DEXA has a bed for you to lie on and an arm that moves along your body and for the pQCT you would sit in a chair and there is a ring that you put an arm through. Each scan will take between 5 and 10 minutes, meaning the whole session should be completed in half an hour to an hour.

With your permission, we will also need to access your medical records to look at blood test results and medical history and also to contact your GP to let them know that you are involved in the study and of your scan results.

Is there any risk involved?

The only risk due to taking part in the research is due to the x-rays that the two scans will supply you with but this risk is low. The x-ray dose is similar to what you would experience outside in a week. We do not take any more tissue than would otherwise be taken as part of your operation.

Is there a benefit to me?

The direct benefit to any participants is minimal but the research aims to help those with the same condition, osteoporosis. The scan results (DEXA and pQCT) will be supplied to your care team or GP but no other individual results will be made available.

Will I get paid for taking part?

No, the research is completely voluntary. However, if you do need help with transport costs, please bring a receipt of travel to the assessment session and we will be able to reimburse you for any reasonable costs (e.g. transport to and from the session or parking) up to £20.

What will you do with my tissue and information?

At the University of Southampton your bone will be tested and compared with your scans and information. The testing will include imaging and mechanical testing. For more information about the testing at the University of Southampton, click here.

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