Short course

Osteosarcopenia: Preventing falls and fractures in older persons


The world’s population is ageing and common chronic diseases affecting our older population, such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia, place a significant burden on the individual as well as the healthcare system.

Osteoporosis is a condition characterised by reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and bone quality, which leads to brittle and weak bones and increases the risk of fracture, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist. Sarcopenia is the progressive and generalised loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength or function. Both conditions share common risk factors and biological pathways, and are associated with significant physical disability, poor quality of life, and higher morbidity and mortality. Osteosarcopenia, a combination of osteoporosis and sarcopenia, is where individuals experience a synchronic loss of BMD and muscle mass, strength, and function which represents a huge threat to a loss of independence.

Several studies have demonstrated only a minority of post-fracture older persons are classified as osteoporotic by their medical practitioners, even when the fracture was associated with a fall and/or fulfils the criteria for a minimal trauma fracture. Sarcopenia was only recently (2016) included in the International Standard Classification of Diseases, Version 10 (ICD-10-Clinical Modification). Although medical practitioners may be aware of the importance of fall prevention in the elderly, the newness of sarcopenia and osteosarcopenia means these conditions are rarely diagnosed and risks identified for falls and fractures.

Designed For

The course is specifically designed for medical practitioners. It provides a comprehensive education on osteoporosis, sarcopenia and the newer condition ‘osteosarcopenia’ in older persons.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the medical practitioner will be able to:

  1. Identify common and specific risk factors for osteoporosis and sarcopenia.
  2. Use online risk identification algorithms for falls and fractures in older persons.
  3. Perform clinical assessment of osteoporosis and sarcopenia in clinical practice.
  4. Elaborate on the principles of DXA imaging as a diagnostic method for osteoporosis and sarcopenia.
  5. Implement a non-pharmacological care plan for osteosarcopenic patients.

Course Units

  • Tutorial 1: Pathophysiology
  • Tutorial 2: Risk factors and risk algorithms
  • Tutorial 3: Clinical assessment 1
  • Tutorial 4: Clinical assessment 2
  • Tutorial 5: Treatment

Knowledge and Skills

The course provides knowledge and skills, readily assimilated into daily clinical practice, on:

  • Bone and muscle biology
  • Pathophysiology of osteoporosis and sarcopenia
  • Risk factors and clinical assessment
  • Diagnostic methods
  • Treatment options for osteoporosis, sarcopenia and osteosarcopenia.


The assessment is submission of 6 self-assessments and 12 case studies. A certificate is provided upon satisfactory completion of the course.

Delivery Mode

Approximately 15 hours of eLearning. This course is delivered online and students can study in their own time and location. Course materials can be accessed using a web browser.

Course Director

Professor Gustavo Duque

Gustavo Duque

MD, PhD, FRACPProf Gustavo Duque is a geriatrician and a clinical and biomedical researcher with special interest in the mechanisms and treatment of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty in older persons. With more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, Prof. Duque's major research interests include the elucidation of the mechanisms and potential new treatments for age-related bone loss, osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty. He is also looking at the effect of vitamin D, exercise and proteins on bone and muscle mass. He is the Director of the Fracture Care and Prevention Program at Western Health. As part of this Program, Prof. Duque implemented a Falls and Fractures clinic at Sunshine Hospital where patients are assessed for falls and fractures risk in a comprehensive manner.


  • Professor Gustavo Duque
  • Dr Sharon Brennan-Olsen
  • Dr Jesse Zanker
  • Dr Ebrahim Bani Hassan
  • Mr Steven Phu

Application Procedure

The online course is available now, click on the 'Enrol Now' button for full fee registration.

Contact Us

Mobile Learning

T: +61 3 8344 5673

Course Information


Course Fee: AUD $550

Student/Nurse/Trainee/Allied Health Professional Discounted Fee: AUD $275 Please see the course page for link to discount form.



Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this course.