Determinants of recovery 12 months after hip fracture: the importance of psychosocial factors

Am J Public Health. 1989 Mar;79(3):279-86. doi: 10.2105/ajph.79.3.279.


The independent contributions to recovery from hip fracture of psychosocial factors including depression, personality, social connectedness, and self-rated health were studied in 219 women age 59 and older (mean age 78.5) who were community dwelling prior to fracture. Initial assessments were conducted shortly after surgery and follow up assessments 2, 6, and 12 months later. By 12 months, 15 patients had died and 15 had entered a nursing home. Substantial declines in physical functioning though not psychosocial status were observed. Only 21 per cent (compared to 81 per cent prefracture) reported walking independently; fewer than 30 per cent had regained reported prefracture levels of physical function. The proportion with elevated depression scores at 12 months was 20 per cent, down from 51 per cent following surgery; 64 per cent rated their health excellent or good at 12 months, up from 43 per cent after surgery. Poor cognitive status and post-surgical self-rated health were predictive of mortality. Among survivors, age, prefracture physical functioning, and cognitive status were associated with recovery in physical function but not psychosocial status. High post-surgery depression scores, but not the other psychosocial factors, were associated with poorer recovery in both functional and psychosocial status. These findings demonstrate the importance of depressive symptoms as one determinant of recovery from hip fracture and support the need to attend to the affective status of hip fracture patients following surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health*
  • Hip Fractures / mortality
  • Hip Fractures / psychology
  • Hip Fractures / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality
  • Probability
  • Self-Assessment
  • Social Environment