Optimising Recovery Following Fracture in Older Adults – What Does the Evidence Tell Us?

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Department
Medicine and Radiology
Location
Western Health
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Professor Kerrie Sanders ksanders@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr David Scott d.scott@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Project Details

About 40% of women and 25% of men aged over 50 years will sustain an osteoporotic fracture (broken bone) in their lifetime. These fracture(s) are associated with a dramatic decline in health related quality of life and often lead to a loss of independence with suboptimal recovery of both physical functioning and quality of life. Management of these fractures imposes a substantial cost burden on the health system with individual fracture management costs ranging from a mean of $6,000 for wrist fracture to $32,000 for hip fracture. We propose that the cost and impact of fractures can be reduced by integrating a person-centred approach into fracture management plans. We aim to identify services associated with greatest recovery following fracture, specific to fracture site and socio-economic strata. The findings from two related projects will be used to characterise an efficient use of healthcare and community services. We will use our data to make recommendations for a fracture care pathway for each of the most common fracture sites (hip, vertebral, wrist, humeral and ankle). The recommendations will then be used in a pilot intervention study. We believe this novel approach will help maximise the proportion of older adults with fracture who return to their pre-fracture quality of life and optimal physical functioning within 12 months of the fracture. Our person-centered approach is unique in fracture care by integrating outcomes related to both physical functioning and quality of life. Findings will be used to develop evidence-based recommendations for fracture management pathways.

Project 1: Aim To examine existing evidence for health and community service use following fracture in older adults. The student will conduct a series of systematic reviews of health and community service use for recovery following fracture in older adults relating to functional outcomes and cost effectiveness. The evidence will be compiled from published randomised controlled trials, systemic reviews and meta-analyses that use a physical functioning or biological ‘bone healing’ outcome. The results will form the basis for evidence relating to fracture management pathways that optimize physical outcomes and be used in conjunction with findings from other projects focusing on quality of life outcomes. Future intervention studies will implement these fracture management pathways and compare outcomes with ‘usual care’ practice of fracture management.

Project 2: Aim To identify the best ‘mix’ of health and community service use following fracture for optimal recovery of quality of life. We have access to several large data sets that can be used to identify determinants of recovery of quality of life following fracture in older adults. Using data collected from eleven countries the student will develop competence in biostatistics through undertaking supervised analyses to address the study aim. The results will form the basis for evidence relating to fracture management pathways that optimize quality of life outcomes and be used in conjunction with findings from project 1 that has a focus on physical function outcomes. Future intervention studies will implement these fracture management pathways and compare outcomes with ‘usual care’ practice of fracture management


School Research Themes

Musculoskeletal



Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Western Health

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