The importance of close next of kin for independent living and readmissions among older Swedish hip fracture patients

Health Soc Care Community. 2022 May;30(3):e727-e738. doi: 10.1111/hsc.13443. Epub 2021 May 25.


We investigate the importance of adult children and/or cohabitation with a partner for older hip fracture patients' probability of independent living, public home care use and hospital readmission. Data from 35,066 Swedish hip fracture patients between 2012 and 2017, aged 65 years, and living at home at the time of the fracture in the Swedish Registry for Hip Fracture Patients and Treatment were linked with national registers. We applied adjusted logistic regression models and Cox proportional hazard models. In total, 959 (4.0%) women and 817 (7.3%) men had no adult children, 13,384 (56.0%) women and 3,623 (32.5%) men had no cohabiting partner and 2,780 (11.6%) women and 1,389 (12.5%) men neither had a cohabiting partner nor adult children. In comparison with women and men who had both a cohabiting partner and adult children, those without a cohabiting partner (i.e. only adult children) and those who neither had a cohabiting partner nor adult children had significantly lower probabilities of returning home (at discharge and after 4 months). They also had a greater probability of both receiving home care and having an increase in the amount of home care they receive. Having a close next of kin and hospital readmission were not associated. In conclusion, absence of a close next of kin, specifically a cohabiting partner, reduces the chance of return to independent living and increases the use of home care after a hip fracture hospitalisation. The findings highlight the importance of family support for older adults living situation after a hip fracture.

Keywords: hip fracture; home care; hospital readmission; next of kin; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures* / epidemiology
  • Hip Fractures* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Readmission
  • Sweden