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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2011 Jan;12(1):50-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2010.02.010. Epub 2010 Aug 12.

Improving adherence with the use of hip protectors among older people living in nursing care facilities: a cluster randomized trial.

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  • 1Rehabilitation Studies Unit, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Ryde NSW, Australia.



To test different adherent strategies aimed at improving hip protector use among nursing care facility residents.


A cluster randomized controlled trial with 234 residents older than 75 years from 9 units of 7 nursing care facilities in the Northern Sydney region, Australia.


Residents were cluster randomized in 3 groups. The first group received hard shell hip protectors without cost (no cost group). The second group received an educational session, a demonstration of the use of hip protectors, and free choice of type of hip protectors without cost (combined group). The third group was the control group who received a brochure about hip protectors.


Primary outcome was adherence with the use of hip protectors at 3 and 6 months after recruitment. Secondary outcomes were falls, injuries, and fractures.


No participants in the control group purchased hip protectors at any stage. At 3 months, 33% of participants in the no cost group and 27% in the combined group wore a hip protector at the time of visit. This declined to 25% and 24% respectively at 6 months. No significant difference was seen in any of the 3 adherence outcomes between the 2 intervention groups. The number of falls or hospitalizations did not differ between groups, with 5 hip fractures reported during the intervention period. Residents were more likely to be adherent if they were female and had greater restriction in daily activities.


Providing free hip protectors to older people living in nursing care facilities was necessary to increase initial acceptance and adherence. Nevertheless, after 6 months the achieved level of adherence was not high enough to be associated with a reduction of hip fractures. The provision of educational sessions and demonstrations to nursing staff and participants had no added value in this trial.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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