• family caregivers;
  • functional recovery;
  • hip fracture;
  • nursing;
  • older care recipients

shyu y.-i.l., chen m.-c., wu c.-c. & cheng h.-s. (2010) Family caregivers’ needs predict functional recovery of older care recipients after hip fracture. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(11), 2450–2459.


Aim.  This paper is a report of a study of the effect of family caregivers’ needs on the functional recovery of elders with a hip fracture during the first 6 months after discharge.

Background.  Family members are closely involved in the postdischarge care of older Chinese patients. However, the influence of family caregiving-related variables, such as caregiver’s needs, on recovery after hip fracture has not been explored.

Methods.  Data were collected between 2002 and 2005 with elders with hip fracture and their family caregivers at a medical centre in Taiwan. Data were collected at 1, 3 and 6 months after discharge, and 120 people completed all follow-ups. The effect of caregiver needs on elders’ recovery was analysed using the generalized estimating equations approach.

Findings.  Elders whose caregivers reported a need for information on caregiving and related health care were more likely (odds ratio = 1·93, confidence interval = 1·08–3·46) to recover their walking ability than those whose caregivers did not report such need. However, elders whose caregivers reported a need for social services were less likely to recover their walking ability (odds ratio = 0·38, confidence interval = 0·18–0·78), and activities of daily living (odds ratio = 0·40, confidence interval = 0·17–0·94) than those whose caregivers did not report such need.

Conclusion.  Healthcare providers should include caregivers’ needs in their clinical assessment of Chinese elders after surgery for hip fracture. Given the rapidly increasing population of Asian elders in Western countries, the results of this study may be applicable to other countries with Chinese populations.