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JFSF Vol 8, No 2, June 2023, p.118-126

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-08-118


Review Article

The effect of an exercise-based rehabilitation programme in functional recovery and prevention of secondary falls after a hip fracture in older adults: A systematic review

Anna Pantouvaki1,2, Evridiki Patelarou1, Grigorios Kastanis3, Kalliopi Alpantaki3, Michail Zografakis Sfakianakis1

  1. Department of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, Hellenic Mediterranean University, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  2. Physiotherapy Department, General Hospital “Venizeleio-Pananeio”, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  3. Department of Orthopaedics, General Hospital “Venizeleio-Pananeio”, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Keywords: Exercise, Functional outcome, Fall prevention, Hip fracture, Review


We performed a systematic review to evaluate whether an exercise-based intervention programme, for older people with a hip fracture, is effective in functional recovery and in preventing secondary fall-related injuries. This systematic review was conducted according to Cochrane review guidelines and based on the PRISMA statement. Six electronic databases (Medline, PubMed, Cochrane Library, CIHNAL, Embase, Google Scholar) from 2010 to 31 December 2021 were searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of functional recovery or fall prevention exercises after a hip fracture surgery in older people (≥65 years). Thirty-four references were identified initially, however, only 8 studies (1617 patients) met the eligibility criteria. Despite the heterogeneity of the onset, duration and of the characteristics of exercise-based intervention, as well as the type of setting it was delivered in, there was evidence that an exercise-based rehabilitation programme improved physical function and gait ability. There was no evidence about preventing a secondary fall after a hip fracture. In conclusion, an exercise-based intervention programme can generally improve functional recovery after a hip fracture. It remains uncertain if it affects the prevention of a secondary fall over a 1-year follow-up period.
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