Self blame and fears among peri-operative hip fracture patients: a qualitative study

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Fiona Webster
Kathleen Rice
Richard Jenkinson Jenkinson
Merrick Zwarenstein
Hans Kreder


Objective: Our team explored elderly patients’ experiences of waiting to undergo hip fracture surgery.Methods: We conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with postoperative patients on an orthopedic ward.Results: All patients had little recall of their fall, their transfer to hospital and were not concerned about surgical wait-times. Rather, our study participants were concerned with issues related to recovery and transfer to home or community. Most patients expressed fear and anxiety at the prospect of being transferred to a nursing home. They also expressed self-blame for having fallen, as most of these events took place while participants were undertaking routine household activities. Discussion: The concerns expressed by our interview participants suggest avenues for patient education. These include the need to provide advice that a cautious person may still fall, as well as information on what will typically happen should an individual fall and suffer debilitating injury requiring surgery.

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