Geriatric and physically oriented rehabilitation improves the ability of independent living and physical rehabilitation reduces mortality: a randomised comparison of 538 patients

Clin Rehabil. 2015 Sep;29(9):892-906. doi: 10.1177/0269215514559423. Epub 2014 Dec 1.


Objective: To examine effects of physical and geriatric rehabilitation on institutionalisation and mortality after hip fracture.

Design: Prospective randomised study.

Setting: Physically oriented (187 patients), geriatrically oriented (171 patients), and health centre hospital rehabilitation (180 patients, control group).

Subjects: A total of 538 consecutively, independently living patients with non-pathological hip fracture.

Main measures: Patients were evaluated on admission, at 4 and 12 months for social status, residential status, walking ability, use of walking aids, pain in the hip, activities of daily living (ADL) and mortality.

Results: Mortality was significantly lower at 4 and 12 months in physical rehabilitation (3.2%, 8.6%) than in geriatric rehabilitation group (9.6%, 18.7%, P=0.026, P=0.005, respectively) or control group (10.6%, 19.4%, P=0.006, P=0.004, respectively). At 4 months more patients in physical (84.4%) and geriatric rehabilitation group (78.0%) were able to live at home or sheltered housing than in control group (71.9%, P=0.0012 and P<0.001, respectively). No significant difference was found between physical rehabilitation and geriatric rehabilitation (P=0.278). Analysis of femoral neck and trochanteric fractures showed that significant difference was true only for femoral neck fractures (physical rehabilitation vs geriatric rehabilitation P=0.308, physical rehabilitation vs control group P<0,001 and geriatric rehabilitation vs control group P<0.001). Effects of intensified rehabilitations disappeared at 12 months. No impact on walking ability or ADL functions was observed.

Conclusions: Physical rehabilitation reduced mortality. Physical and geriatric rehabilitation significantly improved the ability of independent living after 4 months especially among the femoral neck fracture patients but this effect could not be seen after 12 months.

Keywords: Hip fracture; clinical outcome; rehabilitation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Hip Fractures / mortality
  • Hip Fractures / rehabilitation*
  • Hip Fractures / surgery
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Male
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology