The development of a disposable stick-on hip protector for the prevention of hip fractures in hospitalized patients

Hip fractures exert a profound toll on the independence and quality of life of older people, and over 95% are due to falls. Over 2000 hip fractures occur annually in hospitals in Canada. Wearable hip protectors are a promising method for preventing hip fractures, but patient compliance in wearing traditional garment-based hip protectors averages below 20%. In this project, we will examine whether patient compliance in wearing the device is improved by a disposable, low cost stick-on hip protector, which provides increased force attenuation, and little risk for pad shifting, when compared to current devices. A pre-post intervention trial will be conducted in two wards at Surrey Memorial Hospital. Our sample size will allow us to detect a clinically meaningful difference of 20% in compliance. This project will immerse the intern in working with industry and clinical collaborators to evaluate new technology in the clinical environment. Our clinical trial results may provide our industry partner, Blue Tree, with an evidence base necessary for successful product marketing, and essential information for further design iterations.

Emily O’Hearn
Faculty Supervisor: 
Stephen Robinovitch
Project Year: 
British Columbia