Eldercare residents who wore hip protectors reduced their risk of hip fracture nearly threefold, a new study published in the November issue of JAMDA has found.
Investigators followed residents living in 14 long-term care facilities who experienced at least one recorded fall in a one-year period. About 60% were wearing hip protectors at the time of their fall.
“Consisting of specialized garments with soft pads or hard domes secured adjacent to the greater trochanter of the femur, hip protectors are designed to reduce the risk of hip fracture in the event of a fall by absorbing and/or diverting energy away from the proximal femur to less vulnerable tissues upon landing,” study authors noted.
The study findings align with previous research that found that residents at risk for falls and fractures are likely to accept and adhere to advice to wear hip protectors, reported Alexandra M.B. Korall, Ph.D., and colleagues from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
The study provided insight into the characteristics of residents who were more likely to use these products. The researchers found that those who had moderate to severe cognitive impairment, wandering behavior, cardiac dysrhythmia, used a cane or walker, and experienced bladder incontinence were more likely to be wearing hip protectors at the time of falling.