Objectives The aims of this study were to examine the pattern of changes over time in health status (HS) and quality of life (QoL) in the first year after hip fracture and to quantify the association between frailty at the onset of hip fracture and the change in HS and QoL 1 year later. The major hypothesis was that frailty, a clinical state of increased vulnerability, is a good predictor of QoL in patients recovering from hip fracture.
Design Prospective, observational, follow-up cohort study.
Setting Secondary care. Ten participating centres in Brabant, the Netherlands.
Participants 1091 patients entered the study and 696 patients completed the study. Patients with a hip fracture aged 65 years and older or proxy respondents for patients with cognitive impairment were included in this study.
Main outcome measures The primary outcomes were HS (EuroQol-5 Dimensions questionnaire) and capability well-being (ICEpop CAPability measure for Older people). Prefracture frailty was defined with the Groningen Frailty Indicator (GFI), with GFI >= 4 indicating frailty. Participants were followed up at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after hospital admission.
Results In total, 371 patients (53.3%) were considered frail. Frailty was negatively associated with HS (beta -0.333; 95% CI -0.366 to -0.299), self-rated health (beta -21.9; 95% CI -24.2 to -19.6) and capability well-being (beta -0.296; 95% CI -0.322 to -0.270) in elderly patients 1 year after hip fracture. After adjusting for confounders, including death, prefracture HS, age, prefracture residential status, prefracture mobility, American Society of Anesthesiologists grading and dementia, associations were weakened but remained significant.
Conclusions We revealed that frailty is negatively associated with QoL 1 year after hip fracture, even after adjusting for confounders. This finding suggests that early identification of prefracture frailty in patients with a hip fracture is important for prognostic counselling, care planning and the tailoring of treatment.