OBJECTIVES: To investigate compliance with hip protector use. DESIGN: Observational prospective study. SETTING: 19 nursing homes (1040 beds). SUBJECTS: All residents during an 18 month period were included in this study. INTERVENTION: Hip protectors were introduced as a regular part of health care service for all residents. Residents at high risk were encouraged to use hip protectors regularly. Each nursing home had a contact person. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The percentage of residents accepting the hip protector offer, probability of continued use, reasons for terminating use, and percentage of falls with hip protector were evaluated. RESULTS: Fifty five percent of the residents accepted the hip protector offer. The percentage increased by age, but showed no significant dependence on gender, profession of the contact person, or size of nursing home. The probability of continued use showed no significant dependence on age and gender. Nursing homes with a nurse as contact person showed 51% higher risk of residents terminating regular hip protector use than nursing homes with a physiotherapist as contact person (relative risk (RR) 1.51, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11 to 2.05, p = 0.008). The corresponding result for large (75-92 beds) compared with small (24-68 beds) nursing homes was RR = 1.44 (95% CI 1.02 to 2.02, p = 0.036). Seventy six percent of 2323 falls occurred while using hip protectors. CONCLUSION: The contact person and size of the nursing home seemed to be important factors for continued use of hip protectors while age and gender seemed to be less important.
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