FAQs

June 2013

What is the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center (NIH ORBD~NRC), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides patients, health professionals, and the public with an important link to resources and information on metabolic bone diseases including osteoporosis, Paget’s disease of bone, and osteogenesis imperfecta. The center is dedicated to increasing the awareness, knowledge, and understanding of physicians, health professionals, patients, underserved and at-risk populations (such as Hispanic and Asian women, adolescents, and men), and the general public about the prevention, early detection, and treatment of osteoporosis and related bone diseases.

The NIH ORBD~NRC is supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases with contributions from: the National Institute on Aging, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the HHS Office on Women’s Health.

What does the center do?

The NIH ORBD~NRC develops and distributes brochures, fact sheets, and other materials related to bone diseases to interested individuals such as patients, health professionals, and the general public. Information on risk factors, diagnosis, treatment options, coping strategies, and referral to appropriate organizations for additional information is also available.

If you have questions about osteoporosis, Paget’s disease of bone, osteogenesis imperfecta, other bone diseases, or bone health promotion strategies, please contact us at:

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center

2 AMS Circle
Bethesda,  MD 20892-3676
Phone: 202-223-0344
Toll Free: 800-624-BONE (2663)
TTY: 202-466-4315
Fax: 202-293-2356
Email: NIHBoneInfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.bones.nih.gov

The center answers all telephone calls promptly during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. After hours and on weekends and holidays, callers have the opportunity to leave their request and contact information in a voice mail box. Any information that you provide will be kept confidential.

Does the NIH ORBD~NRC give physician referrals?

Although the center cannot make physician referrals, we may be able to refer you to organizations that do make referrals or provide you with information about the different types of physicians that treat your disorder.

Can I receive medical advice by phone or email?

The information specialists at the NIH ORBD~NRC are trained to help requestors locate NIH materials and other reputable informational resources. They are not health care professionals, and they cannot provide clinical diagnoses, recommend treatment, or refer you to health care providers at NIH or elsewhere.

NIH doctors provide medical care only for people who are enrolled in NIH clinical studies. If you would like to be seen at the NIH Clinical Center, please call 800–411–1222 (TTY 866–411–1010) to see if you are eligible to participate in a study at NIH.

The health information that the NIH ORBD~NRC provides cannot substitute for medical expertise and advice. We encourage you to discuss the information you find on our website and in our publications with your health care provider.

If you are interested in medications for a bone condition or disease, the following government resources may be helpful:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Toll Free: 888–INFO–FDA (888–463–6332)
Website: http://www.fda.gov

MedlinePlus

Website: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
National Institutes of Health

P.O. Box 7923
Gaithersburg,  MD 20898
Phone: 301-519-3153
Toll Free: 888-644-6226
TTY: 866-464-3615
Fax: 866-464-3616
Email: info@nccam.nih.gov
Website: http://nccam.nih.gov

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements

Phone: 301-435-2920
Website: http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/

How do I know which type of NIH ORBD~NRC publication is right for me?

The Center publishes health information in a variety of formats for different audiences, such as Spanish, Asian languages, easy-to-read, and audio formats.

Easy-to-Read Fast Facts. Written at a 6th to 7th grade reading level in a question-and-answer format, this series is suitable for anyone looking for a quick, basic introduction to a disease or condition. Two to six pages long, Fast Facts are easy to reproduce and are appropriate as a handout in a clinic, doctor’s office, or at a health fair. Some Fast Facts are available in Spanish and some are also available in Asian languages and audio (MP3) format.

Easy-to-Read Booklets for Multicultural Audiences. The Center also publishes an easy-to-read booklet, Bone Health for Life, which is targeted to multicultural audiences. La historia de Isabel/Isabel's Story is a bilingual “fotonovela” that tells the story of Isabel, who learns she has osteoporosis after falling and breaking her wrist.

Fact Sheets. These slightly longer fact sheets provide more in-depth coverage of a particular subject. Fact sheets use technical language and are written at a 10th to 12th grade reading level. Some fact sheets are also available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. These publications are appropriate for those interested in a detailed overview of a topic, and can also be used for patient reference materials in a clinic or community setting.

Multicultural Fact Sheets. This series of fact sheets, written at a 7th to 8th grade reading level, is targeted to five separate audiences: African Americans; Hispanics and Latinos; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; American Indians and Alaska Natives; and Chinese Americans. Each has a checklist of risk factors specific to that ethnic group.

How do I order publications from the center?

The best way to order a publication is to visit the online shopping cart on the NIH ORBD~NRC website. There is no charge for these publications. Most fact sheets are available online in PDF format, so they can be downloaded and copied easily. Unlimited copying is permitted. The center limits the number of titles and copies you can order of booklets. If you need more than what you are permitted to order through the website shopping cart, please call the NIH ORBD~NRC toll free at 800–624–BONE (2663) (TTY 202–466–4315).

May I have extra copies of a publication for a health fair or to hand out to my patients?

Most fact sheets are available online in PDF format, so they can be downloaded and copied easily. Unlimited copying is permitted. You can request a bulk order of booklets by calling the NIH ORBD~NRC toll free at 800–624–BONE (2663) (TTY 202–466–4315). Sometimes the center still must limit the quantity that can be sent out at a given time. Considerations such as low stock can affect order fulfillment.

Where can I find more advanced information on a topic that the NIH ORBD~NRC covers?

If you are looking for more advanced medical or scientific literature, visit the National Library of Medicine's PubMed database for summaries of research articles. You might also consider visiting a nearby medical university's library to read textbooks on your subject of interest. Visit the National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus website to find a library near you.

You may also ask us. Center information specialists might be able to direct you to other, more advanced sources of information. Contact the NIH ORBD~NRC by calling 800–624–BONE (2663) (TTY 202–466–4315) or emailing NIHBoneInfo@mail.nih.gov. Please include your mailing address and, if possible, a telephone number in your email message.

I can’t find information on my topic on the website. Where do I go next?

Please contact us—we may be able to help you find what you are looking for. You can contact the NIH ORBD~NRC at 800–624–BONE (2663) (TTY 202–466–4315) or by email at NIHBoneInfo@mail.nih.gov. Please include your mailing address and, if possible, a telephone number in your email message.

Another NIH institute or one of the NIH ORBD~NRC’s partner organizations might have information about the topic. NIH has 27 institutes and centers, and each one has its own mission. Sometimes several Institutes support different aspects of research on the same disease. To find out which Institute to contact about your topic, visit the NIH Health Information page.

NIH maintains a list of information phone lines on various topics on its website. The National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus site is another good source of health information.

Another Government agency also may have the answer to your question.
If you would like the latest information on: Contact:
Drugs or medical devices Food and Drug Administration
Vaccines, immunizations or statistics Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Finding Provider Information HealthCare.gov
Research on the quality of health care and clinical practice guidelines Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Medicare and Medicaid Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Access to health care Health Resources and Services Administration

I’m a journalist. Who can I contact for interviews, sources, and other media materials?

If you are a member of the media seeking interviews, sources, or other materials from NRC, please contact our inquiry response center below and we will promptly route your query to the appropriate person.

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center

2 AMS Circle
Bethesda,  MD 20892-3676
Phone: 202-223-0344
Toll Free: 800-624-BONE (2663)
TTY: 202-466-4315
Fax: 202-293-2356
Email: NIHBoneInfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.bones.nih.gov

Can I add a link to the NIH ORBD~NRC site from my website?

Yes, please feel free to link to the center’s website.

Will the center add a link to my website?

The NIH ORBD~NRC’s policy is to link only to other Government agencies. We make exceptions in very rare instances.

I’d like to use some text and an illustration from one of the NIH ORBD~NRC pages. Do I need to get permission first?

The text on the NIH ORBD~NRC site is in the public domain. You don’t need permission to photocopy, reprint, or otherwise reproduce the text. The center appreciates credit if you use NRC text. If you alter or change the text, though, please don’t cite the center as the source; such material is no longer consistent with the original.

Many of the photographs appearing on this site have been purchased from other sources and are copyrighted. The center can’t grant anyone permission to reproduce them. Please contact us (NIHBoneInfo@mail.nih.gov) to find out if the illustration or photograph you would like to reproduce is in the public domain.

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) maintains an online image database from which you can download NIAMS images. All items appearing in the image database are in the public domain. You may reproduce them as you wish. NIAMS appreciates it if you credit NIAMS as the source of the illustration or photograph.