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Sensory impairment in hip-fracture patients 65 years or older and effects of hearing/vision interventions on fall frequency

Authors Grue E, Kirkevold M, Mowinckel P, Ranhoff A

Published 6 November 2008 Volume 2009:2 Pages 1—11


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 1

Else V Grue1, Marit Kirkevold2, Petter Mowinchel3, Anette H Ranhoff4

1Diakonhjemmet University College, Department of Research and Development, Oslo, Norway; 2University of Oslo, Department of Medisin, Institute of Nursing Sciences and Health Profession, Oslo, Norway; 3Department of Paediatrics, Woman-child division, Ullevål University Hospital Oslo, Norway; 4Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Geriatric Unit, Oslo, Norway

Aim: Examine the effect of nursing interventions to improve vision and hearing, systematic assessment, and referral to sensory specialists on falling.

Methods: Controlled intervention trial targeting hip fracture patients, 65 years and older, living at home and having problems seeing/reading regular print (VI) or hearing normal speech (HI). Intervention group = 200, control group = 131. The InterRAI-AcuteCare (RAI-AC) and the Combined-Serious-Sensory-Impairment interview guide (KAS-Screen) were used. Follow-up telephone calls were done every third month for one year.

Results: Mean age was 84.2 years, 79.8% were female, and 76.7% lived alone. HI was detected in 80.7% and VI in 59.8%. Falling was more frequent among the intervention group (P = 0.003) and they also more often moved to a nursing home (P < 0.001) and were dependent walking up stairs (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: This study could not document the effect of intervention on falling, possibly because of different base line characteristics (more females, P = 0.018, and more living alone P = 0.011 in the intervention group), differences in nursing care between subjects, and different risk factors. Interventions to improve sensory function remain important in rehabilitation, but have to be studied further.

Keywords: vision, hearing, hip fracture, falls, intervention, hospital

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