Title. Effects of nursing interventions within an integrated care pathway for patients with hip fracture
Aim. This paper reports a study to evaluate the contribution of nursing care within an integrated care pathway for patients with hip fracture.
Background. There is growing interest in quality assurance in health care. Integrated care pathways are a method to achieve this goal, and are a multi-professional team approach where the requirement for nurses to work effectively within the team is important. However, the nurses’ role and contribution within the team have not been well described.
Method. A quasi-experimental, prospective study comparing an intervention group with a comparison group was carried out. One hundred and twelve independently living patients, aged 65 years or older and admitted to a Swedish hospital with a hip fracture, were consecutively selected. Pathological fracture and severe intellectual impairment (Pfeiffer's test <3 points) served as exclusion criteria. The intervention was designed to focus on patients’ motivation and their prerequisites for rehabilitation and was based on the concept of transition. The main outcome measure was the number of patients restored to preoperative activities of daily living levels in 2003–2004.
Findings. In the intervention group 21% were restored to activities of daily living to level A (independent) at discharge, whereas only 5% in the comparison group were restored to this level. No patients in the intervention group, admitted as independent, remained at activities of daily living level F (dependent), whereas 16% remained at level F in the comparison group (P = 0·003).
Conclusion. When admitting older patients with a hip fracture, it is important to acquire good knowledge about each patient and their prerequisites and to offer them accelerated rehabilitation in accordance with their individual ability. By monitoring process indicators during the transition, serious deviations from the care plan can be avoided.