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Abstract

In a prospective design, early outcomes after hip fracture were compared in three groups of formerly community-living women: those discharged home from the hospital (n = 58), those discharged to a nursing home (NH) and staying there ≤ 1 month (n = 23), and those staying > 1 month (n = 39). Data were collected on mobility and mood states prior to hospital discharge and at 2,8, and 14 weeks. Overall recovery ratings were obtained at the latter three times; readiness for discharge from hospital and nursing home also was examined. The short-stay group did as well in regaining mobility as the home-discharge group and both rated their overall recovery similarly. Affective mood distress was associated with discharge destination site. The short-stay NH group had a greater proportionate lack of designated caregivers than either of the other two groups. Research is needed to identify features of nursing homes as well as characteristics of patients that contribute to positive outcomes in the large number of hip fracture patients currently discharged to these institutions.