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Understanding the role of social factors in recovery after hip fractures: A structured scoping review

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Poor recovery among older adults with hip fractures can occur despite successful surgical repair and rehabilitation, suggesting other factors might play a role in recovery, such as social factors. The aim of this scoping review was to provide an overview of the literature on the role of social factors in older adult's recovery after hip fracture. This review followed the York Framework and its modifications and recent reporting guidelines. Two independent researchers searched main medical databases (CINAHL, EMBASE, Medline, PsycINFO and the Cochrane libraries) from inception to June 2017, for studies investigating social factors and recovery post hip fracture. Studies were excluded if they were qualitative, perspective papers or if participants were < 65 years or they were not living in the community. We screened 2,503 unique abstracts in total and 19 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Social factors investigated in the included studies were social support, socioeconomic factors and living arrangement. We classified outcomes in the studies into three subgroups: physical functional recovery, mortality and other outcomes (pain, hospital length of stay and quality of life). We found evidence that social support and socioeconomic factors (e.g. socioeconomic status) were significantly associated with an increase in functional recovery, a decrease in mortality and other outcomes, but conflicting evidence was found for the effect of one's living arrangement. Only two included studies were randomised controlled trials. To conclude, social factors, such as social support and socioeconomic status, affect physical functional recovery and mortality in older adults with hip fractures. However, this is an under researched area that lacks rigorously designed studies and would benefit from more studies with rigorous designs.
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Keywords: fragility fractures; review; social determinants of health

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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