Hip fracture occurs commonly in older individuals and can have a considerable impact on the functional independence and quality of life for older patients living in the community. In a population-based case-control study six months after hip fracture, we investigated the association between functionality and quality of life. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM), the Frenchay Activities of Daily Living Index (FAI), and the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) were used to measure physical function, and quality of life was measured by completing a Short Form-36 (SF-36). With age and gender match, the hip fracture group scores were significantly lower (p < or = 0.05) than the control group in all measurements of physical function (FIM 95.54 vs 103.5; FAI 23.68 vs 30.76; BBS 46.21 vs 54.25). The quality of life was assessed by SF-36, which has eight domains: physical function, physical role, bodily pain, mental health, emotional role, social function, general health and vitality. All eight domains were significantly lower in the hip fracture group compared with the controls (p<0.05). The reduction in function was reflected in a reduction in the quality of life. Thus, clinically reported hip fracture impairs both the functionality and quality of life of these subjects. The adverse impact of hip fracture on quality of life and functionality needs to be recognized by health personnel in the community, so that adequate health resources can be devoted to preventing and treating this debilitating condition.