, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 473-481

Femoral neck fractures in the elderly: Functional outcome and quality of life according to EuroQol

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Abstract

The main purpose of this prospective study was to investigate the functional outcome and health-related quality of life according to EuroQol (EQ-5D) after a femoral neck fracture treated with internal fixation in relatively healthy elderly patients. We also aimed to validate the use of the EQ-5D in routine clinical follow-ups of this group of patients. The inclusion criteria were more than 65 years of age, absence of severe cognitive dysfunction, living independently, and unhindered walking ability preoperatively. The mean follow-up period was 17 months. The rated prefracture EQ-5Dindex scores showed good correspondence with the scores of an age-matched Swedish reference population. The EQ-5Dindex scores decreased from 0.78 before the fracture (based on recall) to 0.59 at 4 months and 0.51 at 17 months after surgery. The decrease was significantly larger among patients with fracture healing complications. There was a good correlation between the EQ-5Dindex scores and other outcome measures such as pain, mobility, independence in ADL and independent living status. The questionnaire response rate (EQ-5D) was 89–100% on different follow-up occasions. The EQ-5D appears to be an easy-to-use instrument even for elderly patients with femoral neck fractures. Changes in the quality of life may be useful to identify patients who might benefit from reoperation, i.e. arthroplasty. The EQ-5D also appears to be a relevant clinical end-point in outcome studies.