Background: While hip fractures are an important cause of disability, dependency and death in older adults, the benefit of multi-disciplinary rehabilitation for people who have sustained hip fracture has not been demonstrated.
Methods: Systematic review of randomized controlled trials which compare co-ordinated multi-disciplinary rehabilitation with usual orthopaedic care in older people who had sustained a hip fracture. Outcome measures included: mortality, return home, "poor outcome", total length of hospital stay, readmissions and level of function.
Results: We identified 11 trials including 2177 patients. Patients who received multi-disciplinary rehabilitation were at a lower risk (Risk Ratio 0.84, 95% CI 0.73-0.96) of a "poor outcome" - that is dying or admission to a nursing home at discharge from the programme, and showed a trend towards higher levels of return home (Risk Ratio 1.07, 95% CI 1.00-1.15). Pooled data for mortality did not demonstrate any difference between multi-disciplinary rehabilitation and usual orthopaedic care.
Conclusion: This is the first review of randomized trials to demonstrate a benefit from multi-disciplinary rehabilitation; a 16% reduction in the pooled outcome combining death or admission to a nursing home. This result supports the routine provision of organized care for patients following hip fracture, as is current practice for patients after stroke.