Introduction: Hip fractures cause significant morbidity and mortality in the elderly population. There are over 75′000 per year in the UK. Despite this, there has been little research on patients' views and experiences of hip fractures. This was highlighted as an area where further research was required in the NICE guidelines for hip fractures. The aim of this study was to assess patients' experiences of their hip fractures and hip fracture management.
Sampling methods: An interview script was created based on recommendations made in the NICE guidance. Approval was gained from the local patient experience team. A 30 minute semi-structured interview was undertaken by a single interviewer who was not involved in the patients care.
Results: 15 patients were interviewed with an average age of 81.7 (range 70-94). 13 females and 2 males participated. When asked about their feelings about injuring their hip, most felt resentment and blamed themselves for the injury. When asked if they would make a full recovery, 10 out of 15 thought they would. Only 5 of 15 thought their living circumstances would change. 8 out of 15 thought they would need additional help after discharge and the majority had negative thoughts about this. Returning home and regaining independence were the most important factors highlighted by all those questioned. When asked about the advice they would give to other people who suffered a hip fracture, most made comments such as ‘listen to the advice given’, ‘just get on with it’ and ‘stay positive’.
Conclusion: Hip fractures are a major event for an elderly person. Patients do not generally understand the effects that it may have on their life. Returning to their pre-fracture level of mobility and living circumstances following a hip fracture were most important to those interviewed.