The number of old people is growing and will increase future demands on healthcare services for old people. Hip fracture is one of the diagnoses that increases with age and it has become a major problem, both for those suffering a fracture and for society due to the large numbers involved, the morbidity with complications such as falls, functional decline, and the high mortality rate among those affected. The main purposes of this thesis were, to study the impact of previous hip fractures on their life among the very old, to study in-patient falls, fall-related injuries and fall-risk factors, and to evaluate a multidisciplinary, multi-factorial intervention program designed to reduce in-patient falls and to enhance functional performance among old people who have sustained a femoral neck fracture.
The impact of a hip fracture was examined in a cross-sectional population-based study, among the very old (Umeå 85+). After adjustment for potential covariates, participants with a history of hip fracture were found to be more dependent in the performance of Personal/Primary Activities of Daily Living (P-ADL) (p=0.024), walked less independently (p=0.040) and used a wheelchair more frequently (p=0.017). Most of the participants with earlier hip fractures who had moved to institutional care or begun using mobility aids, as compared to before the fracture, had started to do so permanently in connection with the fracture incident.
In-patient falls, fall-related injuries and fall-risk factors were studied in 97 participants, aged 70 or more, treated for a femoral neck fracture. There were 60 postoperative falls occurring among 26/97 participants (27%). Thirty-two percent of the falls resulted in injuries, 25 % were minor, and 7 % were serious. Delirium after day seven, (Hazard Rate Ratio (HRR) with a 95% Confidence Interval (CI)), 4.62 (1.30-16.37), male sex 3.92 (1.58-9.73), and sleeping disturbances 3.49 (1.24-9.86), were associated with in-patient falls. Forty-five percent of the participants were delirious on the day they fell.
The effects of a multidisciplinary, multi-factorial intervention program on in-hospital falls and injuries as well as the short- and long-term effects on living conditions, walking ability and performance of activities of daily living were evaluated in a randomised controlled trial among 199 participants with femoral neck fracture, aged ≥70 years. Participants were randomised to care in a geriatric ward (intervention, n=102) or to conventional postoperative routines (control, n=97). The intervention consisted of staff education, individualized care planning and rehabilitation, systematic assessment and treatment of fall-risk factors, active prevention, and detection and treatment of postoperative complications and an intervention follow up at four-months. The staff worked in teams to apply comprehensive geriatric assessment, management and rehabilitation.
Twelve participants fell a total 18 times in the intervention group compared to 26 participants suffering a total 60 falls in the control group. Only one participant with dementia fell in the intervention group compared to 11 participants with dementia in the control group. The fall incidence rate was 6.29/1000 days vs. 16.28/1000 for the intervention and control groups respectively. The Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR) was 0.38 (95% CI: 0.20-0.76, p=0.006) for the total sample and 0.07 (95% CI: 0.01-0.57, p=0.013) among participants with dementia. No new fractures were incurred in the intervention group but there were four in the control group. In addition, despite shorter hospitalization, significantly more people from the intervention group had regained independence in P-ADL performance at the four- and twelve-month follow ups, Odds Ratios (OR), with 95% CI, were 2.51 (1.00-6.30) and 3.49 (1.31-9.23) respectively. More participants in the intervention group had also regained the ability to walk independently without walking aids indoors, at the end of the study period, 3.01 (1.18-7.61).
In conclusion, hip fracture among the very old seems to be associated with poorer P-ADL performance and poorer mobility. Falls and injuries are common during in-patient rehabilitation after a femoral neck fracture, delirium and sleep disturbances and male gender are factors associated with in-patient falls. Having a team apply comprehensive geriatric assessments and rehabilitation, including the prevention, detection and treatment of fall-risk factors, can successfully prevent in-patient falls and fall-related injuries, even among participants with dementia, and can also enhance the performance of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and mobility after a hip fracture, in both short- and long-term perspectives.
Umeå: Samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering , 2006. , 77 p.
accidental falls, activities of daily living, aged, geriatric medicine, hip fracture, in-hospital, intervention, physiotherapy, randomised controlled trial, rehabilitation
2006-10-14, Aula, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå universitet 901 87, Umeå, 10:00 (English)