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Systematic Review

Vol. 8 No. 1 (2004)

Hip Protectors and their Role in Hip Fracture Prevention: A Review

  • Paul David Cowling
October 25, 2020


Hip fractures cause severe worldwide morbidity and loss of independence, costing national healthcare systems millions of pounds each year. The incidence is increasing with the expanding elderly population common of many Western countries. Hip protectors have been progressively studied in recent years focussing upon their use in hip fracture prevention, and compliance levels. This review aims to determine the effectiveness of protectors, and also investigates compliance levels. A search for English language Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) testing effectiveness of hip protectors was performed on Medline and Embase. Nine articles fulfilling the search criteria were found. Each was reviewed for hip protector effectiveness and compliance rates within the study, with results and conclusions critically-appraised. Of the nine articles, six (66.6%) found hip protectors to be effective in preventing hip fractures in selective populations. However, poor compliance rates were found in all reviewed trials. Future research should therefore focus upon improving compliance rates in the studied population.


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