Hip fracture is a major fall-related injury which causes significant problems for individuals, their family and carers. Over 40% of people with hip fracture have dementia or cognitive impairment, and their outcomes after surgery are poorer than those without dementia. It is not clear which care and rehabilitation interventions achieve the best outcomes for these people.
(a) To assess the effectiveness of models of care including enhanced rehabilitation strategies designed specifically for people with dementia following hip fracture surgery compared to usual care.(b) To assess the effectiveness for people with dementia of models of care including enhanced rehabilitation strategies which are designed for all older people, regardless of cognitive status, following hip fracture surgery compared to usual care.
We searched ALOIS (www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/alois), the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group Specialised Register, up to and including week 1 June 2014 using the terms hip OR fracture OR surgery OR operation OR femur OR femoral.
We include randomised and quasi-randomised controlled clinical trials (RCTs) evaluating the effectiveness for people with dementia of any model of enhanced care and rehabilitation following hip fracture surgery compared to usual care.
Two review authors working independently selected studies for inclusion and extracted data. We assessed the risk of bias of included studies. We synthesised data only if we considered studies sufficiently homogeneous in terms of participants, interventions and outcomes. We used the GRADE approach to rate the overall quality of evidence for each outcome.
We included five trials with a total of 316 participants. Four trials evaluated models of enhanced interdisciplinary rehabilitation and care, two of these for inpatients only and two for inpatients and at home after discharge. All were compared with usual rehabilitation and care in the trial settings. The fifth trial compared outcomes of geriatrician-led care in hospital to conventional care led by the orthopaedic team. All papers analysed subgroups of people with dementia/cognitive impairment from larger RCTs of older people following hip fracture. Trial follow-up periods ranged from acute hospital discharge to 24 months post-discharge.We considered all of the studies to be at high risk of bias in more than one domain. As subgroups of larger studies, the analyses lacked power to detect differences between the intervention groups. Further, there were some important differences in the baseline characteristics of the participants in experimental and control groups. Using the GRADE approach, we downgraded the quality of the evidence for all outcomes to 'low' or 'very low'.No study assessed our primary outcome (cognitive function) nor other important dementia-related outcomes including behaviour and quality of life. The effect estimates for most comparisons were very imprecise, so it was not possible to draw firm conclusions from the data. There was low-quality evidence that enhanced care and rehabilitation in hospital led to lower rates of some complications and that enhanced care provided across hospital and home settings reduced the chance of being in institutional care at three months post-discharge (Odds Ratio (OR) 0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.22 to 0.95, 2 trials, n = 184), but this effect was more uncertain at 12 months (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.40 to 2.03, 2 trials, n = 177). The effect of enhanced care and rehabilitation in hospital and at home on functional outcomes was very uncertain because the quality of evidence was very low from one small trial. Results on functional outcomes from other trials were inconclusive. The effect of geriatrician-led compared to orthopaedic-led management on the cumulative incidence of delirium was very uncertain (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.22 to 2.38, 1 trial, n = 126, very low-quality evidence).
There is currently insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about how effective the models of enhanced rehabilitation and care after hip fracture used in these trials are for people with dementia above active usual care. The current evidence base derives from a small number of studies with quality limitations. This should be addressed as a research priority to determine the optimal strategies to improve outcomes for this growing population of patients.