The impact of the frequency, duration and type of physiotherapy on discharge after hip fracture surgery: A secondary analysis of UK national linked audit data

Aicha Goubar, Salma Ayis, Lauren Beaupre, Ian Cameron, Rhian Milton-Cole, Celia Gregson, Antony Johansen, Morten Tange Kristensen, Jay Magaziner, Finbarr Martin, Catherine Sackley, Euan Sadler, Toby Smith, Boris Sobolev, Katie Sheehan

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Summary: Additional physiotherapy in the first postoperative week was associated with fewer days to discharge after hip fracture surgery. A 7-day physiotherapy service in the first postoperative week should be considered as a new key performance indicator in evaluating the quality of care for patients admitted with a hip fracture. Introduction: To examine the association between physiotherapy in the first week after hip fracture surgery and discharge from acute hospital. Methods: We linked data from the UK Physiotherapy Hip Fracture Sprint Audit to hospital records for 5395 patients with hip fracture in May and June 2017. We estimated the association between the number of days patients received physiotherapy in the first postoperative week; its overall duration (< 2 h, ≥ 2 h; 30-min increment) and type (mobilisation alone, mobilisation and exercise) and the cumulative probability of discharge from acute hospital over 30 days, using proportional odds regression adjusted for confounders and the competing risk of death. Results: The crude and adjusted odds ratios of discharge were 1.24 (95% CI 1.19–1.30) and 1.26 (95% CI 1.19–1.33) for an additional day of physiotherapy, 1.34 (95% CI 1.18–1.52) and 1.33 (95% CI 1.12–1.57) for ≥ 2 versus < 2 h physiotherapy, and 1.11 (95% CI 1.08–1.15) and 1.10 (95% CI 1.05–1.15) for an additional 30-min of physiotherapy. Physiotherapy type was not associated with discharge. Conclusion: We report an association between physiotherapy and discharge after hip fracture. An average UK hospital admitting 375 patients annually may save 456 bed-days if current provision increased so all patients with hip fracture received physiotherapy on 6–7 days in the first postoperative week. A 7-day physiotherapy service totalling at least 2 h in the first postoperative week may be considered a key performance indicator of acute care quality after hip fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-850
Number of pages12
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number4
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Rehabilitation
  • Neck of Femur
  • Recovery
  • Hip fracture
  • Audit
  • National Hip Fracture Database
  • Neck of femur

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