Early discharge and home rehabilitation after hip fracture achieves functional improvements: a randomized controlled trial

Clin Rehabil. 2002 Jun;16(4):406-13. doi: 10.1191/0269215502cr518oa.


Objective: To compare hospital and home settings for the rehabilitation of patients following hip fracture.

Design: Randomized controlled trial comparing accelerated discharge and home-based rehabilitation (n = 34) with conventional hospital care (n = 32) for patients admitted to hospital with hip fracture.

Setting: Three metropolitan hospitals in Adelaide, Australia.

Subjects: Sixty-six patients with fractured hip.

Interventions: Patients assigned to the home-based rehabilitation group were discharged within 48 hours of randomization. The project team therapists made visits to the patient's home and negotiated a set of realistic, short-term and measurable treatment goals with both the patient and carer. Those randomized to usual care remained in hospital for conventional rehabilitation.

Main outcome measures: Physical and social dependence, balance confidence, quality of life, carer strain, patient and carer satisfaction, use of community services and incidence of adverse events such as re-admission and falls.

Results: While there was no difference between the groups for all measures of quality of life, patients in the accelerated discharge and home-based rehabilitation group recorded a greater improvement in MBI from randomization (p < 0.05) and scored higher on the Falls Efficacy Scale (p < 0.05) at four months. There was no difference in falls rates. Patients in the home-based rehabilitation group had a shorter stay in hospital (p < 0.05) but a longer stay in rehabilitation overall (p < 0.001). The groups were comparable on the rate and length of admissions after discharge, use of community services, need for carer input and contact with general practitioner (GP) after discharge.

Conclusions: This trial further supports the practice of accelerated discharge from hospital and home-based rehabilitation in selected patients recovering from hip fracture. Such a practice appears to improve physical independence and confidence in avoiding subsequent falls which may have implications for longevity and overall quality of life.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures / rehabilitation*
  • Home Care Services, Hospital-Based*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay*
  • Male
  • Quality of Life