Rehabilitation after hip fracture--equal opportunity for all?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether factors unrelated to clinical appropriateness affect use of physical and occupational therapy (PT/OT) in elderly Medicare patients with acute hip fracture. DESIGN: Bivariate and multivariate analysis of detailed clinical data retrospectively gathered from medical records and of nonclinical variables obtained through linkage with the American Hospital Association data base. SETTING: 297 randomly selected hospitals from 5 states. PATIENTS: 2,762 elderly Medicare patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of acute hip fracture who were hospitalized during 1981-1982 or 1985-1986. INTERVENTION: Observational study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Initiation and intensity of PT/OT while in the acute hospital. RESULTS: We found evidence that factors not relevant to clinical appropriateness, such as race, hospital size, and state, significantly affect whether patients receive any PT/OT after acute fracture, as well as the intensity of PT/OT. For example, after controlling for patient clinical characteristics, we found that 63% of African-American patients received low-intensity PT/OT in comparison to 43% among non-African-American, and we found threefold differences among states both in initiation of PT/OT and in the intensity of its use. Overall, clinical characteristics had relatively greater influence on whether patients started PT/OT, whereas factors not relevant to clinical appropriateness had relatively greater influence on how much rehabilitation was provided. CONCLUSION: There are significant disparities in use of rehabilitation after hip fracture, only partially explained by patient clinical characteristics. Factors without obvious relevance to the clinical appropriateness of PT/OT exert a significant influence on use of rehabilitation services, particularly on the intensity of their use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hoenig, H; Rubenstein, L; Kahn, K

Published Date

  • January 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 77 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 58 - 63

PubMed ID

  • 8554475

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-9993

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0003-9993(96)90221-x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States