Purpose To obtain a better understanding of the issues that influence hip protector use among community-dwelling older adults.
Methods The study used a longitudinal, crossover design. A convenience sample of 32 participants used four different brands of hip protectors, each for a 1-week period. Data were collected by weekly telephone interviews and a mailed questionnaire administered at baseline and follow-up. Participant perceptions regarding hip protectors were assessed using both open-ended questions and Likert-type items.
Results The most common concerns about hip protectors mentioned in response to open-ended questions involved: discomfort, poor fit, inconvenience and unfavourable effects on appearance. Participants spontaneously mentioned at least one of these barriers in over 70% of the interviews. In contrast, participants spontaneously mentioned the protective benefits offered by hip protectors in only 16% of the interviews. The intention to continue using a particular hip protector after the study ended was associated with the number of hours the hip protector was worn during the study (p<0.01). After controlling for other variables, beliefs concerning the amount of protection that a hip protector provided was positively associated with the number of hours the hip protector was worn during the study (p<0.05) and the intention to continue using the hip protector after the study (p<0.01).
Conclusion Study findings suggest that the use of hip protectors by community-dwelling older adults is influenced by beliefs about both barriers to use and the amount of protection provided.
- hip fracture
- hip protectors
- older adults
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The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Funding This project was supported with funds from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center (R49 CE000196). The HipSaver and SafeHip hip protectors used in this study were provided by the manufacturers free of charge. The FallGard hip protectors used in the study were provided by the manufacturer at cost.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the Biomedical Institutional Review Board at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.