Hip fracture patients 'should be screened for depression'

5 August 2013

Older people who require a hip op following a fracture should be screened and treated for depression to aid their recovery, a study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham studied 101 hip fracture patients and discovered that 38 had depression six weeks after their injury, despite not having any depressive symptoms beforehand.

Analysis revealed that depressed patients tended to have more problems with activities associated with day-to-day living after six months than those without depression.

They also tended to walk more slowly and have worse balance than hip op patients who were not depressed.

The findings are published in the journal BMC Geriatrics and suggest that factors other than the hip fracture itself can affect patients' wellbeing and recovery after leaving hospital.

"Depression is one such factor which can affect resistance to disease and physical function as well as obviously quality of life and mental wellbeing," said Dr Anna Phillips from the university's School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

She added that identifying and treating depression in hip fracture patients "is therefore key to a good recovery".

Posted by Philip Briggs

 

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