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'Give dementia patients hip protectors'

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Care homes that introduce hip protectors should target residents with cognitive impairment, according to UK researchers.

Care homes that introduce hip protectors should target residents with cognitive impairment, according to UK researchers.

The authors, from Queen's University, Belfast, said: "Such residents are at greater risk of hip fracture and appear to be more likely to continue wearing hip protectors."

They observed 1,346 residents at 40 care homes. Initially 37% of residents agreed to wear the hip protectors but adherence to the protectors had fallen to about 20% after 72 weeks.

Hip protectors are protective pads designed to cover the greater trochanter and attenuate or disperse the force of a fall sufficiently to prevent a hip fracture. They have been widely recommended in national guidelines.

International Journal of Nursing Studies (2007) 44: 672-686

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