Snowdon, DA and Vincent, P and Callisaya, ML and Collyer, TA and Wang, YT and Taylor, NF, Feasibility of allied health assistant management of people with acute hip fracture: protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial, BMJ Open, 11, (11) Article e054298. ISSN 2044-6055 (2021) [Refereed Article]
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Introduction Guidelines for hip fracture care state that patients with hip fracture should be mobilised on the day after surgery and at least once a day thereafter. However, compliance with these guidelines is poor. One approach that would assist physiotherapists to meet mobility guidelines after hip fracture is to delegate the provision of daily mobilisation to allied health assistants under their supervision. Therefore, we plan to conduct a randomised controlled trial to determine the feasibility of an allied health assistant providing daily inpatient rehabilitation to patients with hip fracture.
Methods and analysis Using a parallel group randomised controlled design with one-to-one allocation, participants will be randomly allocated to an experimental group (allied health assistant management) or a comparison group (physiotherapist management). Inclusion criteria are: adult with diagnosis of hip fracture; inpatient in acute hospital; walked independently pre-hip fracture and able to communicate in conversational English. The experimental group will receive routine physiotherapy rehabilitation, including daily mobilisation, from an allied health assistant following initial physiotherapist assessment. The comparison group will receive routine rehabilitation from a physiotherapist. The primary outcome will be the feasibility of allied health assistant management of patients with hip fracture. Feasibility will be determined using the following areas of focus in Bowen’s feasibility framework: acceptability (patient satisfaction), demand (proportion of patients who participate), implementation (time allied health assistant/physiotherapist spends with participant, occasions of service) and practicality (cost, adverse events). Staff involved in the implementation of allied health assistant care will be interviewed to explore their perspectives on feasibility. Secondary outcomes include compliance with daily mobilisation guidelines, discharge destination, hospital readmission, falls, functional activity and length of stay. We aim to recruit 50 participants. Descriptive statistics will be used to describe feasibility and mobilisation rates will be calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression to compare compliance with mobilisation guidelines.
Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval was obtained from the Peninsula Health human research ethics committee (HREC/63 005/PH-2020). The findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations.
Trail registration number Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry; ACTRN12620000877987; Pre-results.