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BMJ. 2006 Mar 11;332(7541):571-4. Epub 2006 Mar 2.

Effectiveness of hip protectors for preventing hip fractures in elderly people: systematic review.

Author information

1
Orthopaedic Department, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Peterborough District Hospital, Peterborough PE3 6DA. martyn.parker@pbh-tr.nhs.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To present the updated results of systematic review of the current evidence for the effectiveness of hip protectors from reports of completed randomised trials, and to explore the evolution of that evidence.

DESIGN:

Systematic review with meta-analysis.

DATA SOURCES:

Cochrane Bone, Joint, and Muscle Trauma Group trials register (January 2005), Cochrane central register of controlled trials (Cochrane Library Issue 1, 2005), Medline (1966 to January 2005), Embase (1988 to January 2005), and CINAHL (1982 to December 2004). Other databases and reference lists of relevant articles were searched and some trialists were contacted.

REVIEW METHODS:

Randomised or quasirandomised controlled trials reporting the incidence of hip fractures, pelvic fractures, and other fractures in elderly people offered hip protectors compared with a control group that was not.

RESULTS:

Outcomes for fracture were available from 14 randomised and quasirandomised trials. Pooling of data from 11 trials carried out in nursing or residential care settings, including six cluster randomised studies, showed evidence of a marginally statistically significant reduction in incidence of hip fracture (relative risk 0.77, 95% confidence interval 0.62 to 0.97). Pooling of data from three individually randomised trials of 5135 community dwelling participants showed no reduction in hip fracture incidence with provision of hip protectors (1.16, 0.85 to 1.59). No evidence was found of any significant effect of hip protectors on incidence of pelvic or other fractures. No important adverse effects of hip protectors were reported, but compliance, particularly in the long term, was poor.

CONCLUSIONS:

On the basis of early reports of randomised trials, hip protectors were advocated. Accumulating evidence indicates that hip protectors are an ineffective intervention for those living at home and that their effectiveness in an institutional setting is uncertain.

PMID:
16513687
PMCID:
PMC1397761
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.38753.375324.7C
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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