Determining current physical therapist management of hip fracture in an acute care hospital and physical therapists' rationale for this management

Susie Thomas, Shylie Mackintosh, Julie Halbert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: Physical therapy has an important role in hip fracture rehabilitation to address issues of mobility and function, yet current best practice guidelines fail to make recommendations for specific physical therapy interventions beyond the first 24 hours postsurgery. Objectives: The aims of this study were: (1) to gain an understanding of current physical therapist practice in an Australian acute care setting and (2) to determine what physical therapists consider to be best practice physical therapist management and their rationale for their assessment and treatment techniques. Design and Methods: Three focus group interviews were conducted with physical therapists and physical therapist students, as well as a retrospective case note audit of 51 patients who had undergone surgery for hip fracture. Results: Beyond early mobilization and a thorough day 1 postoperative assessment, great variability in what was considered to be best practice management was displayed. Senior physical therapists considered previous clinical experience to be more important than available research evidence, and junior physical therapists modeled their behavior on that of senior physical therapists. The amount of therapy provided to patients during their acute inpatient stay varied considerably, and none of the patients audited were seen on every day of their admission. Conclusions: Current physical therapist management in the acute setting for patients following hip fracture varies and is driven by system pressures as opposed to evidence-based practice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1490-1502
    Number of pages13
    JournalPhysical Therapy
    Volume91
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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