Am Fam Physician. 2007 Feb 15;75(4):472.
to the editor: The article “Management of Hip Fracture: The Family Physician's Role,”1 in American Family Physician, referenced a meta-analysis2 that purportedly showed “that hip protectors may help prevent hip fractures.”1 I stopped recommending these devices several years ago after reading a number of studies that did not support their use; I was hopeful that new data showed efficacy for what appears to be a nifty idea. When I looked up the supporting information, I was crestfallen to see a Cochrane publication2 concluding that there is no benefit from using the protectors—or so it seemed from my review of that publication.
1. Rao SS, Cherukuri M. Management of hip fracture: the family physician's role. Am Fam Physician. 2006;73:2195–200.
2. Parker MJ, Gillespie WJ, Gillespie LD. Hip protectors for preventing hip fractures in older people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005;(3):CD001255.
editor's note: This letter was sent to the authors of “Management of Hip Fracture: the Family Physician's Role,” who stated that they agreed with Dr. Ippel about the lack of clinically significant benefit from using hip protectors in nursing home residents.
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