Hip fracture is a global public health problem. The National Hip Fracture Database provides a framework for service evaluation in this group of patients in the United Kingdom, but does not collect patient-reported outcome data and is unable to provide meaningful data about the recovery of quality of life. We report one-year patient-reported outcomes of a prospective cohort of patients treated at a single major trauma centre in the United Kingdom who sustained a hip fracture between January 2012 and March 2014. There was an initial marked decline in quality of life from baseline measured using the EuroQol 5 Dimensions score (EQ-5D). It was followed by a significant improvement to 120 days for all patients. Although their quality of life improved during the year after the fracture, it was still significantly lower than before injury irrespective of age group or cognitive impairment (mean reduction EQ-5D 0.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.17 to 0.26). There was strong evidence that quality of life was lower for patients with cognitive impairment. There was a mean reduction in EQ-5D of 0.28 (95% CI 0.22 to 0.35) in patients < 80 years of age. This difference was consistent (and fixed) throughout follow-up. Quality of life does not improve significantly during recovery from hip fracture in patients over 80 years of age (p = 0.928). Secondary measures of function showed similar trends. Hip fracture marks a step down in the quality of life of a patient: it accounts for approximately 0.22 disability adjusted life years in the first year after fracture. This is equivalent to serious neurological conditions for which extensive funding for research and treatment is made available.
Keywords: Hip fracture; cohort; proximal femur; quality of life.
©2015 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery.