Hip and pelvic fracture patients with fear of falling: development and description of the “Step by Step” treatment protocol

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Based on a theoretical framework and sound evidence, this article describes a rehabilitation programme for patients with fear of falling after hip and pelvic fracture.


Based on exercise science principles, current knowledge from fall prevention, emotion regulation, and the Health Action Process Approach we developed a theoretical framework, from which the components of the intervention were derived.

Description of the intervention:

The intervention consists of 6 components: (1) relaxation, (2) meaningful activities and mobility-based goals, (3) falls related cognitions and emotions, coping with high risk tasks and situations, (4) individual exercise programme, (5) planning and implementing exercises and activities, and (6) fall risks and hazards. The intervention comprises of 8 individual sessions during 3 to 5 weeks of inpatient rehabilitation and 4 telephone calls and 1 home visit over a 2-month post-discharge period. Each session or telephone call takes about 30-60 minutes. It is provided to geriatric hip and pelvic fracture patients with concerns about falling and no cognitive impairment. To ensure completeness of reporting, the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDierR) is used.


Fifty-seven patients were assigned to the intervention group. All 46 completers met all pre-defined criteria for an intervention per protocol.


The programme is feasible to administer. We have completed a randomised controlled trial, which will be submitted in due time (for trial protocol: www.isrctn.org; ISRCTN79191813).

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