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Development and delivery of patient treatment in the Trondheim Hip Fracture Trial. A new geriatric in-hospital pathway for elderly patients with hip fracture

Ingvild Saltvedt12*, Anders Prestmo12, Elin Einarsen1, Lars Gunnar Johnsen3, Jorunn L Helbostad2 and Olav Sletvold12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Geriatrics, St. Olav Hospital, University Hospital of Trondheim, Trondheim, Norway

2 Departments of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

3 Department of Orthopaedics, St. Olav Hospital, University Hospital of Trondheim, Trondheim, Norway

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:355  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-355

Published: 16 July 2012



Hip fractures are common among frail elderly persons and often have serious consequences on function, mobility and mortality. Traditional treatment of these patients is performed in orthopedic departments without additional geriatric assessment. However, studies have shown that interdisciplinary geriatric treatment may be beneficial compared to traditional treatment. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether treatment of these patients in a Department of Geriatrics (DG) during the entire hospital stay gives additional benefits as compared to conventional treatment in a Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (DOS).


A new clinical pathway for in-hospital treatment of hip fracture patients was developed. In this pathway patients were treated pre-and postoperatively in DG. Comprehensive geriatric assessment was performed as an interdisciplinary, multidimensional, systematic assessment of all patients focusing on each patient’s capabilities and limitations as recommended in guidelines and systematic reviews. Identification and treatment of co-morbidities, pain relief, hydration, oxygenation, nutrition, elimination, prevention and management of delirium, assessment of falls and osteoporosis were emphasized. Discharge planning started as early as possible. Initiation of rehabilitation with focus on early mobilisation and development of individual plans was initiated in hospital and continued after discharge from hospital. Fracture specific treatment was based upon standard treatment for the hospital, expert opinions and a review of the literature.


A new treatment program for old hip fracture patients was developed, introduced and run in the DG, the potential benefits of which being compared with traditional care of hip fracture patients in the DOS in a randomised clinical trial.

Hip fractures; Geriatric assessment; Oldest old; Randomized controlled trial; Interdisciplinary health team