Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


College of Nursing


Nursing Practice

First Advisor

Susan Poslusny


PROBLEM: Falls and fragility fractures are a significant cost to older adults and to society in terms of morbidity and mortality as well as financial cost to the individual and health system (Murray & Beynon, 2001). With the baby boomers beginning to join the population at risk for falls and fractures, and with increasing longevity, more people will be at greater risk for these injuries (Inderjeeth & Poland, 2010). Bone health is one important aspect of preventing fragility fractures. Adequate nutrition, especially adequate calcium and vitamin D is necessary for bone mineralization (Nieves, 2005). Many older adults do not obtain enough of these nutrients from diet alone to provide optimum musculoskeletal health (Nowson, 2010). This project identified and appraised evidence related to the effect of supplementation of older adults diet with calcium and vitamin D on falls and fragility fractures. The resulting product is a guideline that the practitioners can use to improve the musculoskeletal and bone health of older adults.

METHODS: A systematic review of several online databases was conducted to identify evidence addressing the supplementation of calcium and vitamin D on musculoskeletal health, falls, and fragility fractures in older adults. Additional literature was obtained from secondary sources found in articles as well as professional organizations, and published practice guidelines. Search terms used included falls, fracture, calcium and vitamin D.

IMPLICATIONS: The prevention of falls and fragility fractures improves the quality of life for the older adult as well as providing cost savings for the health care system (Duque, et al., 2006). Providing a cost effective means of improving musculoskeletal health in this at risk population can improve quantity and quality of life as well as improving the financial solvency of the individual, family, and health payer systems ( Murray & Beynon, 2001).


© 2012, Cynthia Hartman