Rehabilitation at home is a new 'technology' which has been promoted as an efficient alternative to hospital rehabilitation for older patients with conditions such as fractured hip. In Australia, no formal description of elderly patients with fractured hips likely to be eligible for home rehabilitation has been made and the acceptability of such services is unclear. Using information obtained prospectively from a consecutive sample of 188 patients with a fractured hip we describe the characteristics of older adults who were eligible for a trial examining home versus hospital rehabilitation. While staff assessed 36% of patients as eligible, only 20% were both eligible and agreeable. Reasons for refusal to participate included a preference for inpatient rehabilitation (26%), family reluctance (26%) and anxiety regarding the ability to manage at home (16%). Our results suggest that home rehabilitation is suitable for the least disabled group but is still unacceptable to many elderly patients and their families. As the population ages and hip fractures increase, home rehabilitation in its current form will have little impact on future bed needs.
- Fractured hip
- Home rehabilitation