Attitudes to palliative care in patients with Neck-of-Femur fracture: A multi-centre survey

Luke Harries*, Andrew Moore, Clare Kendall, Sophie Stanger, Thomas Stringfellow, Andrew Davies, Michael Kelly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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The mortality of patients with neck-of-femur fractures remains high, with increasing recognition of a sub group of patients with predictable mortality. The role of palliative care in this group is poorly understood and under-developed. This research aims to investigate current clinician attitudes towards palliative care for patients with neck-of-femur fracture, and explore processes in place for early identification for patients nearing the end of life.
Materials and Methods:
An online survey was constructed with reference to NICE end-of-life guidelines (CG13) and distributed to multi-disciplinary teams involved in the care of neck-of-femur fracture patients in 4 hospitals of contrasting size and location in the United Kingdom.
Forty healthcare professionals with a broad range of seniority and roles responded. The palliative care team was felt to have several potential roles in the care of neck-of-femur fracture patients, but there was difference of opinion between specialties about what these were. A number of barriers to palliative referral were identified, including stigma and active surgical management. The majority (75%) felt that all neck-of-femur fracture patients should have a discussion about ceiling of care, with difference of opinion about who should do so, and at when.
As the elderly population has grown, so too has the volume of neck-of-femur fracture patients. It is increasingly important to identify and escalate patients who have poor prognosis following hip fracture and ensure they benefit from palliative care where appropriate. This survey demonstrates a barrier to addressing the care of these patients and a lack of consensus on identification and referral to appropriate palliative care planning.
There should be close communication between specialties with regard to requirements for palliative care in neck-of-femur fracture patients, with ongoing education and clear local and national guidance to ensure they receive the right care at the right time.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalGeriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2020


  • palliative care


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