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Shared decision-making for non-operative management versus operative management of hip fractures in selected frail older adults with a limited life expectancy: a protocol for a nationwide implementation study.

BMJ Open 2024 April 18
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Recent research has highlighted non-operative management (NOM) as a viable alternative for frail older adults with hip fractures in the final phase of life. This study aims to guide Dutch physicians and hospitals nationwide in a standardised implementation of shared decision-making regarding surgery or NOM in selected frail older adults with a hip fracture.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The patient population for implementation includes frail older adults aged ≥70 years with an acute proximal femoral fracture, nursing home care or a similar level of care elsewhere and at least one additional criterion (ie, malnutrition, severe mobility impairment or ASA≥4). The 2-year implementation study will be conducted in four phases. In phases 1 and 2, barriers and facilitators for implementation will be identified and an implementation protocol, educational materials and patient information will be developed. Phase 3 will involve an implementation pilot in 14 hospitals across the Netherlands. The protocol and educational material will be improved based on healthcare provider and patient experiences gathered through interviews. Phase 4 will focus on upscaling to nationwide implementation and the effect of the implementation on NOM rate will be measured using data from the Dutch Hip Fracture Audit.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was exempted by the local Medical Research Ethics Committee (MEC-2023-0270, 10 May 2023) and Medical Ethics Committee United (W23.083, 26 April 2023). The study's results will be submitted to an open access international peer-reviewed journal. Its protocols, tools and results will be presented at several national and international academic conferences of relevant orthogeriatric (scientific) associations.


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