Incidence, risk factors and the healthcare cost of falls postdischarge after elective total hip and total knee replacement surgery: protocol for a prospective observational cohort study
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Introduction: The number of major joint replacement procedures continues to increase in Australia. The primary aim of this study is to determine the incidence of falls in the first 12 months after discharge from hospital in a cohort of older patients who undergo elective total hip or total knee replacement. Methods and analyses: A prospective longitudinal observational cohort study starting in July 2015, enrolling patients aged ≥60 years who are admitted for elective major joint replacement (n=267 total hip replacement, n=267 total knee replacement) and are to be discharged to the community. Participants are followed up for 12 months after hospital discharge. The primary outcome measure is the rate of falls per thousand patient-days. Falls data will be collected by 2 methods: issuing a falls diary to each participant and telephoning participants monthly after discharge. Secondary outcomes include the rate of injurious falls and health-related quality of life. Patient-rated outcomes will be measured using the Oxford Hip or Oxford Knee score. Generalised linear mixed modelling will be used to examine the falls outcomes in the 12 months after discharge and to examine patient and clinical characteristics predictive of falls. An economic evaluation will be conducted to describe the nature of healthcare costs in the first 12 months after elective joint replacement and estimate costs directly attributable to fall events. Ethics and dissemination: The results will be disseminated through local site networks and will inform future services to support older people undergoing hip or knee joint replacement and also through peer-reviewed publications and medical conferences. This study has been approved by The University of Notre Dame Australia and local hospital human research ethics committees.
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