Introduction: While hip protectors are effective in some clinical trials, many, including all in community settings, have been unable to demonstrate effectiveness. This is due partly to differences in the design and analysis. The aim of this report is to develop recommendations for subsequent clinical research.
Methods: In November of 2007, the International Hip Protector Research Group met to address barriers to the clinical effectiveness of hip protectors. This paper represents a consensus statement from the group on recommended methods for conducting future clinical trials of hip protectors.
Results and conclusions: Consensus recommendations include the following: the use of a hip protector that has undergone adequate biomechanical testing, the use of sham hip protectors, the conduct of clinical trials in populations with annual hip fracture incidence of at least 3%, a run-in period with demonstration of adequate adherence, surveillance of falls and adherence, and the inclusion of economic analyses. Larger and more costly clinical trials are required to definitively investigate effectiveness of hip protectors.