People living in nursing care facilities who are ambulant and fracture their hips: Description of usual care and an alternative rehabilitation pathway

Maggie Killington, Owen Davies, Maria Crotty, Rhiannon Crane, Naomi Pratt, Kylie Mills, Arabella McInnes, Susan Kurrle, Ian D. Cameron

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Background: Little is known about treatment provided to people living in nursing care facilities (NCFs) after hospital admission for hip fracture. In addition, there are no clinical guidelines for rehabilitation and recovery following hip fracture for nursing home residents. Methods: As part of a randomised trial (SACRED trial), which investigated the efficacy of a four week in-reach rehabilitation program, data were collected which described routine care for 240 people living in 76 nursing care facilities in South Australia who fractured their hips. The in-reach rehabilitation provided to 119 intervention participants is described, including intensity, type and methods used to encourage participation in rehabilitation. Adverse events that occurred, in particular falls, are also reported. Results: NCF records indicated that, over the four weeks following discharge from hospital after hip fracture, 76% of patients receiving usual care had a consultation with their general practitioner. Physiotherapy was provided to 79% of patients in usual care (median of 1.96 h over the 4 weeks, which is less than 30 min each week of physiotherapy). In-reach rehabilitation was provided by the hospital team for 13 h over the 4 weeks with almost full attendance at physiotherapy sessions (median of 1 missed session, range 0-7 with a median of 14 physiotherapy sessions attended by participants, range 1-18). Experienced therapists provided a flexible approach to the rehabilitation to account for patients' dementia and associated neuropsychiatric symptoms while providing dietetic support, mobility training and education to nursing home staff. The number of falls experienced by those in the intervention group was higher compared to those in usual care (Relative Risk 1.38 (95%CI 1.04-1.84, p = 0.03). Conclusions: Rehabilitation can be provided to people living in NCFs following hip fracture, even when they have moderate to severe dementia but the model needs to be flexible. Provision of rehabilitation may increase the rate of falls in this population. Further studies are required to establish the feasibility of the intervention in other long term care settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


  • Aged care
  • Dietetics
  • Falls
  • General practitioner
  • Hip fracture
  • Nursing care facility (NCF)
  • Nursing home
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Usual care


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