OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of a psychiatric intervention in treating depression (treatment study) and the effect of a psychological treatment in preventing depression (prevention study) after hip fracture in older people.
DESIGN: Two linked randomized, controlled trials.
SETTING: Orthopedic units in Manchester, England.
PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred ninety-three older people who had undergone surgery for a fractured hip: 121 in the treatment study and 172 in the prevention study.
MEASUREMENTS: The Geriatric Depression Scale and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for mood, functional tests for mobility and pain measures.
RESULTS: There was a slight reduction in depressive symptoms in the active arm of the treatment study. In the prevention study, there was no significant difference in incident depression between the psychological intervention and treatment as usual. There were no differences in the functional and pain outcomes.
CONCLUSION: The results from these two randomized, controlled trials show that, after hip fracture surgery, no statistically significant benefits can be achieved from a psychiatric intervention in people who are depressed or a psychological intervention to prevent the onset of depression.