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Hip fracture: the patient perspective

Age and Ageing: A pilot study of patients experiences of hip fractureThis research by Jennison, Porter and Rankin looks at the patient experience of hip fracture. It highlights some important considerations in terms of the emotional repercussions and expectations of treatment and recovery.

A pilot study of patients experiences of hip fracture

Introduction: Hip fractures cause significant morbidity and mortality in the elderly population. There are over 75′000 per year in the UK. Despite this, there has been little research on patients' views and experiences of hip fractures. This was highlighted as an area where further research was required in the NICE guidelines for hip fractures. The aim of this study was to assess patients' experiences of their hip fractures and hip fracture management.

Results: 15 patients were interviewed with an average age of 81.7 (range 70-94). 13 females and 2 males participated. When asked about their feelings about injuring their hip, most felt resentment and blamed themselves for the injury. When asked if they would make a full recovery, 10 out of 15 thought they would. Only 5 of 15 thought their living circumstances would change. 8 out of 15 thought they would need additional help after discharge and the majority had negative thoughts about this. Returning home and regaining independence were the most important factors highlighted by all those questioned. When asked about the advice they would give to other people who suffered a hip fracture, most made comments such as ‘listen to the advice given’, ‘just get on with it’ and ‘stay positive’.

Conclusion: Hip fractures are a major event for an elderly person. Patients do not generally understand the effects that it may have on their life. Returning to their pre-fracture level of mobility and living circumstances following a hip fracture were most important to those interviewed.

Click here to read the full abstract online.

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