Care Seeking Behaviour of Older Adults with Hip Fracture in India: A Qualitative Study

Abha Tewari, Santosh Rath , Lalit Yadav, Kirti Sundar Sahu, Desaraju Shyama Sundari, Sangamitra Pati, Srinivas Nallala, Premila Webster, Robyn Norton

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Background: Hip fractures among older adults is a serious public health issue in India due to increase in ageing population. Availability and timely access to surgical care is essential for reduction of mortality and morbidity from hip fractures and thereby decreasing inequalities among older adults. The notion of access to care is multi-dimensional and the “three-delay” framework can be applied to understand the causes for delay between sustaining a hip fracture and receipt of appropriate care. The aim of this study is to determine the processes in decision-making, identify cause for delays in obtaining care, and the potential barriers and facilitators to seeking appropriate care in time.

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted (30 in-depth interviews) in seven healthcare facilities (4 public; 2 private and 1 alternative care center) in two administrative district of Odisha, India. The study was undertaken by George Institute for Global Health, India, in collaboration with Indian Institute of Public Health-Bhubaneswar from July 2014 to January 2015.Participants were aged 50 years or older with hip fracture including males and females. Data was categorized using NVIVO software and analyzed by thematic analysis.

Results: Majority of participants perceived hip fracture injury will heal on its own and does not require surgery. They were not aware of the consequences of such an injury, comorbid conditions and available healthcare facilities. Family/community members played a significant role in the choice of surgeon and in accessing health care facility. Participants who had an injury outside their home were taken immediately to the hospital whereas those who fell inside home get delayed in reaching hospital. The delay from time of injury till access of care varied from few hours to months. People with a hip fracture and their relatives had strong faith and belief in traditional health care system, i.e. Traditional bonesetters within their local community.

Conclusion: Our study findings emphasize on the need for quick decision- making to access nearest health facility with the provision of surgical care. We recommended further research studies to be conducted in varied settings to widen our knowledge in care pathways for the management of hip fractures in India
Original languageEnglish
Article number1000128
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Patient Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Hip-fractures
  • Care-seeking
  • Patient
  • Behaviour
  • Qualitative
  • India


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