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Risk of hip fracture in protected and unprotected falls in nursing homes in Norway
  1. L Forsén1,
  2. A J Søgaard1,
  3. S Sandvig2,
  4. A Schuller3,
  5. U Røed2,
  6. C Arstad1
  1. 1Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2County of Akershus and the municipalities of Asker and Bærum, Norway
  3. 3TNO Prevention and Health, Leiden, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Lisa Forsén
 Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Post Box 4404, Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway;


Objectives: To compare the probability of hip fracture in protected and unprotected falls in a real world setting in nursing homes.

Design: Observational study.

Setting: Seventeen nursing homes (965 beds) in Norway.

Subjects: All residents in the nursing homes with at least one fall during the intervention period.

Intervention: Hip protectors were introduced as a regular part of the health care service for all the residents for an intervention period of 18 months. Residents who were considered high risk were especially encouraged to be regular users of hip protectors.

Main outcome measures: Hip fracture in protected and unprotected falls.

Results: At the time of the first fall within each faller, 430 were non-users of hip protectors, while 84 were registered as users, but did not wear it, and 191 were users and did wear it. The odds ratio of suffering a hip fracture was 0.31, 95% confidence interval 0.13 to 0.75 for wearers compared with non-wearers in the first fall, adjusted for age, gender, and whether they were registered as users or not.

Conclusion: The odds of suffering a hip fracture for nursing home high risk residents was reduced to less than a third in protected falls compared with unprotected falls. Or, in other words, the odds of hip fracture showed a 69% reduction in protected falls compared with unprotected falls.

  • accidental falls
  • frail elderly
  • hip fractures
  • patient compliance
  • protective clothing
  • hip protectors
  • CI, confidence interval
  • OR, odds ratio

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