A hip fracture in older adulthood can result in function and mobility decline. The consequences are debilitating and place a great burden on patients, caregivers, and the health care system. Although inpatient rehabilitation programs have proven effective, the best practices for community-based rehabilitation required to maintain the gains in function and mobility post hospital discharge are currently unknown.
The aim of this systematic review is to identify and evaluate the evidence on the effectiveness of community-based rehabilitation post hospital discharge interventions for older adults with cognitive impairment (CI) following a hip fracture, and to identify the physical recovery outcomes and measures used in previous studies.
The methods outlined in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Intervention were followed and findings were reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The search strategy included a combination of text words and subject headings relating to the concepts of CI, dementia, delirium, cognitive reserve, and hip fractures. For a study to be included in the review, it had to involve participants with CI who underwent hip fracture surgery, and consisted of an outpatient intervention that occurred in the participant’s home or community. Peer-reviewed journal articles were identified by searching various databases. Two independent reviewers screened the titles and abstracts to determine which articles comprising of a rehabilitation intervention within a community setting prior to being included for a full article review. A data extraction form and an evidence and quality checklist were used during the full article data analysis and synthesis. A meta-analysis was not conducted due to heterogeneity of measures and outcomes.
The original search resulted in over 3000 articles. Of those, three studies satisfied the necessary criteria to be included in the systematic review. All studies included inpatient and outpatient physiotherapy, with some including a cognitive component, family education, and a discharge assessment.
The findings from this review suggest that community-based rehabilitation post hospital discharge interventions show promising results towards improving various physical function outcomes, mobility, and activities of daily living for older adults with CI following a hip fracture. This review also demonstrates and discusses the current lack of outpatient rehabilitation interventions targeted towards older adults with CI post-hip fracture. Additionally, several substantive gaps that require attention to move this field forward are highlighted.