Evaluating recovery following hip fracture: a qualitative interview study of what is important to patients.
Griffiths F., Mason V., Boardman F., Dennick K., Haywood K., Achten J., Parsons N., Griffin X., Costa M.
OBJECTIVE: To explore what patients consider important when evaluating their recovery from hip fracture and to consider how these priorities could be used in the evaluation of the quality of hip fracture services. DESIGN: Semistructured interviews exploring the experience of recovery from hip fracture at two time points-4 weeks and 4 months postoperative hip fixation. Two approaches to analysis: thematic analysis of data specifically related to recovery from hip fracture; summarising the participant's experience overall. PARTICIPANTS: 31 participants were recruited, of whom 20 were women and 12 were cognitively impaired. Mean age was 81.5 years. Interviews were provided by 19 patients, 14 carers and 8 patient/carer dyad; 10 participants were interviewed twice. SETTING: Single major trauma centre in the West Midlands of the UK. RESULTS: Stable mobility (without falls or fear of falls) for valued activities was considered most important by participants who had some prefracture mobility and were able to articulate what they valued during recovery. Mobility was important for managing personal care, for day-to-day activities such as shopping and gardening, and for maintenance of mental well-being. Some participants used assistive mobility devices or adapted to their limitations. Others maintained their previous limited function through increased care provision. Many participants were unable to articulate what they valued as hip fracture was perceived as part of their decline with age. The fracture and problems from other health conditions were an inseparable part of one health experience. CONCLUSIONS: Prefracture mobility, adaptations to reduced mobility before or after fracture, and whether or not patients perceive themselves to be declining with age influence what patients consider important during recovery from hip fracture. No single patient-reported outcome measure could evaluate quality of care for all patients following hip fracture. General health-related quality of life tools may provide useful information within clinical trials.