New Study Correlates Repeat Falls In Women Post-Hip Fracture With Decreased Social Participation

 A new study examines the correlation between social participation and repeat falls following hip surgery. The study involved community-dwelling women aged =65 years, admitted to one of two hospitals in Baltimore with a new, non-pathological fracture of the proximal femur between 1992 and 1995.

Information on falls was collected from a falls diary. At the baseline, 6- and 12-month evaluations, subjects were asked about the number of times in the 2 weeks prior to the evaluation they had participated in 10 categories of social activities. The study then examined the association of repeated falls with social participation using generalized estimating equations. The effect of physical and psychological functions was examined by including measures of lower extremity functional performance and depressive symptoms into the model.

 The analyses included 196 women, mean age = 80.2 years. Eighty-one subjects fell. The subjects with >1 fall between evaluations participated in a mean (95% CI) of 3.5 (0.12, 6.9) and 4.3 (0.9, 7.7) fewer social activities at 6 and 12 months post-fracture, respectively, compared to those who did not fall (P = 0.0003). These results were attenuated by adjustment for depressive symptoms, but not by lower extremity functional performance.

The overall conclusion of the study was that in the year post-fracture, repeated falls in women were associated with decreased social participation independent of lower extremity function. For more, see the study.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. 


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