COSMIN database

Proximal femoral fractures in the elderly: how are we measuring outcome?

Hutchings, L., Fox, R., and Chesser, T.
INTRODUCTION: Patients with proximal femoral fractures present a difficult problem to health care systems in view of their complex presentations and co-morbidities. Traditionally, the focus of outcome measurement for this patient group has been on mortality and surgical implant success. Increasing recognition of the need to diversify outcome measurements has led to the creation and use of a number of outcome scales. We sought to examine how these scales are being used in the current literature.

METHODS: Abstracts to over 4000 papers related to proximal femoral fracture research were screened to identify commonly used scales in the five main categories of general quality of life measures (QoL), Activities of Daily Living scales (ADL), mobility and physical performance scales, disease-specific scales and hip-specific scales. The 14 identified scales were then searched for directly, and papers analysed for scale usage, timing and interpretation.

RESULTS: ADL scales were the most commonly used group, followed by QoL measures, which are validated for elderly patients. Scale timing and use varied widely between studies. A large number of scales were found in addition to the 14 identified scales. None of the 14 identified scales were validated for the proximal femoral fracture population.

DISCUSSION: A good scale must be appropriate in content, method and clinical utility. Its method of application must be reliable, responsive, and validated for the population in question. Outcome scale usage was difficult to assess in proximal femoral fracture research due to difficulties in isolating the relevant research, and in differences in scale timing and interpretation. Scale prevalence was skewed by use by specific research groups.

CONCLUSION: There is no single unifying scale in widespread use for proximal femoral fracture patients. We would recommend the validation of commonly used scales for this population, and would advise the use of scales from more than one category to assess outcome
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Physical state
Functional status:
Physical functioning
Overall quality of life:
Overall quality of life
Seniors (65+)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
2 - Interviews
4 - Performance-based tests
6 - Clinical rating scales
BI - Barthel Index   
CHS - Charnley Hip Score
EQ-5D - EuroQoL-5 Dimensions   
FIM - Functional Independence Measure (Also modified version exists)
HHS - Harris Hip Score   
Katz ADL - Katz’ Index Of Independence In Activities Of Daily Living    | 
NHP - Nottingham Health Profile   
OHS - Oxford Hip Score   
SF-12 - 12-item Short Form Health Survey [alias: RAND-12]
SF-36 - 36-item Short Form Health Survey [alias: RAND-36][alias: Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) SF-36]]    |  | also see:
SPPB - Short Physical Performance Battery   
Timed Walk Test
TUG - Timed Up and Go test   
WOMAC - Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (Also I-WOMAC - Individualized WOMAC)