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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2018 Feb;19(2):122-129. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2017.08.009. Epub 2017 Sep 30.

Association between Caregiver Role and Short- and Long-Term Functional Recovery after Hip Fracture: A Prospective Study.

Author information

1
Center on Aging and Mobility, University Hospital Zurich and City Hospital Waid, Zurich, Switzerland; University Clinic for Acute Geriatric Care, Waid City Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Center on Aging and Mobility, University Hospital Zurich and City Hospital Waid, Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Geriatrics and Aging Research, University Hospital Zurich and University of Zurich, Switzerland.
3
Jean Mayer United States Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA.
4
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
5
Center on Aging and Mobility, University Hospital Zurich and City Hospital Waid, Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Geriatrics and Aging Research, University Hospital Zurich and University of Zurich, Switzerland; Center for Senior Trauma Care, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
6
Center for Senior Trauma Care, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Traumatology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
7
Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
8
Center on Aging and Mobility, University Hospital Zurich and City Hospital Waid, Zurich, Switzerland; University Clinic for Acute Geriatric Care, Waid City Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Geriatrics and Aging Research, University Hospital Zurich and University of Zurich, Switzerland; Center for Senior Trauma Care, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address: Heike.Bischoff@usz.ch.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

After a hip fracture, 50% of senior patients are left with permanent functional decline and 30% lose their autonomy. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate whether seniors who are in a caregiver role have better functional recovery after hip fracture compared with noncaregivers.

DESIGN:

Prospective observational study.

SETTING:

A total of 107 Swiss patients with acute hip fracture age 65 years and older (84% women; 83.0 ± 6.9 years; 87% community-dwelling).

MEASUREMENTS:

At baseline, participants were asked if they were caregivers for a person, a pet, or a plant. Lower-extremity mobility was measured using the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test at baseline during acute care (day 1-12 after hip fracture surgery) and at 6 and 12 months follow-up. Subjective physical functioning (SPF) was rated for prefracture values and at 6 and 12 months follow-up using the Short Form 36 Health Survey questionnaire. Differences in TUG performance or SPF between caregivers and noncaregivers at 6 and 12 months were assessed using multivariable repeated-measures analysis adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, Charlson comorbidity index, Mini-Mental State Examination, living condition, baseline TUG, and treatment (vitamin D, home exercise program as part of the original trial).

RESULTS:

At baseline, adjusted TUG performance was better in caregivers of any kind compared with noncaregivers (40.9 vs 84.4 seconds, P < .0001). At 6 months, and after adjustment for baseline TUG performance and other covariates, TUG was better in caregivers of any kind (-6.4 seconds, P = .007) and caregivers of plants (-6.6 seconds, P = .003) compared with noncaregivers. At 12 months, only caregivers of persons had better TUG performance compared with noncaregivers (-7.3 seconds, P = .009). Moreover, at 12 months, SPF was better in caregivers of persons (58.9 vs 45.6, P = .01) and caregivers of any kind (50.8 vs 39.3, P = .02) compared with noncaregivers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Senior hip fracture patients who have a caregiver role of any kind, and especially of plants, had better short-term recovery after hip fracture assessed with the TUG. For long-term recovery, senior hip fracture patients who are caregivers for other persons appeared to have a significant benefit. These benefits were independent of baseline function and all other covariates.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00133640.

KEYWORDS:

Hip fracture; caregiver role; functional recovery; outcome; timed up and go test

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