The break remains – elderly people's experiences of a hip fracture 1 year after discharge

Disabil Rehabil. 2010;32(2):103-113. doi: 10.3109/09638280903009263.


Purpose: To explore experienced long-term consequences of a hip fracture and conceptions of what influences hip fracture recovery among community-living elderly people 1 year after discharge.

Method: Fifteen subjects (13 females and 2 males), aged 66-94, were interviewed. The phenomenographic method was used for analysis.

Results: Experiences of insecurity and restricted life dominated the interviews. The descriptive categories within experienced consequences of a hip fracture were: (1) isolated life with more restricted activity and fewer social contacts, with the two sub-categories (a) more insecure and afraid and (b) more limited ability to move, (2) disappointed and sad that identity and life have changed and (3) satisfied with the situation or feeling even better than before the fracture. The categories within conceptions of what influences hip fracture recovery were: (4) own mind and actions influence recovery, (5) treatment and actions from others influence recovery and (6) you cannot influence recovery.

Conclusion: The findings accentuate that the negative consequences of a hip fracture are substantial and long-lasting. As it strikes mostly elderly people, who may have experienced earlier losses and growing disabilities, a hip fracture could add to the risk of losing important life values. Furthermore, the findings indicate that all health care professionals who meet the patients need to consider the patients' own experiences and possible fear and not merely focus on the physical injury and disabilities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures / psychology*
  • Hip Fractures / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Recovery of Function