Measuring Recovery after a Hip Fracture Using the SF-36 and Cummings Scales
The objective of this study was to assess outcomes of traditional treatment of fractures using the SF-36 and the Cummings Hip Scale. In designing randomized clinical trials, it is necessary to determine the timing of assessment either for progress or for the main outcome. We set out to document the recovery of patients after surgery for hip fracture using current standard methods of medical care. This was a prospective study of a cohort of patients. Patients who were receiving standard medical care completed the SF-36 and the Cummings Hip Scale at previously determined times postoperatively. The SF-36 has eight subscales, including assessments of physical function, physical role behaviors, bodily pain, mental health, social role, emotional role, vitality and general health. Thirty-eight patients completed the questionnaires at 1 year postoperatively as well as previous time points. On the Cummings Hip Scale and the physical function, bodily pain, mental health, social function, emotional role, vitality and general health subscales of the SF-36, recovery is near complete at 6 months. Only the physical role subscale differs, with a statistically significant difference between the values at 6 months and 1 year, (p= 0.02). Patients attained over 90% of the 1 year value by 6 months for all except the physical role subscale. The physical role subscale reached 85%. For a hip fracture patient who is on the road to recovery, the majority of the recovery has therefore taken place by 6 months.
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