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Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy:
RESEARCh REPORTS

Hip Protectors in Fracture Prevention for Aging Adults at Risk of Falling: A Study of User Compliance

Madrecka, Aleksandra MSc, Eng1; Lyons, Declan MSc, FRCP, FRCPI, MD2; O'Connor, Caroline RGN, DHMIPA3; Ryan, Caroline RGN3; O'Hara, Oonagh3; Real, Shirley MISCP4; Collins, Eoin5; McGloughlin, Tim M. PhD, B. Eng, M Eng Sc1

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Abstract

Purpose:: A compliance survey was conducted to establish factors that influence low user compliance with hip protectors amongst aging adults at risk of hip fracture. Medical professionals who deal with patients at risk of hip facture were also included in this survey.

Methods:: For this descriptive study 2 questionnaires were designed, 1 for community dwelling aging adults at high risk of fall and hip fracture and 1 for medical professionals dealing with these patients. The questionnaires were presented, completed, and collected at individual appointments with aging adults and by group appointments with medical professionals. All data was statistically analysed to detect the most significant factors related to poor user compliance with hip protectors. For this descriptive study, frequency tests were used to analyse the data and therefore percentage of response was also reported. Certain demographic data such as age and gender was also collected.

Results:: The outcomes in both interviewed groups were very similar. The main findings demonstrate that 51% of users find hip protectors very valuable while 41% reported the product to be uncomfortable and 29% of users found them difficult to put on. For potential users the high cost of the product and its appearance remains an issue. Also negative psychological aspects of wearing the hip orthoses appear to be common reasons for not wearing a hip protector.

Conclusion:: The study confirmed poor user compliance with hip protectors (18.9%). The information gathered from users and medical professionals regarding hip protectors provides valuable information which allows for the identification and development of new design features.

Copyright © 2009 the Section on Geriatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association

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