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caregivers, hip fracture, internet resource



  1. Nahm, Eun-Shim
  2. Resnick, Barbara
  3. Orwig, Denise
  4. Magaziner, Jay
  5. Bellantoni, Michele
  6. Sterling, Robert
  7. Brennan, Patricia F.


Background: Hip fracture is a serious injury for older adults, usually requiring surgical repair and extensive therapy. Informal caregivers can help older adults make a successful recovery by encouraging them to adhere to the therapy plans and improve their health behaviors. Few resources, however, are available for these caregivers to learn about how to assist their care receivers and cope with their unique caregiving situations.


Objective: The study aims were to develop a comprehensive theory-based online hip fracture resource center (OHRC) for caregivers, Caring for Caregivers, and conducted a feasibility trial.


Methods: The OHRC included self-learning modules, discussion boards, Ask the Experts, and a virtual library. The feasibility of the intervention was assessed by usage and usability. The feasibility of the future trial was tested using a one-group pre-post design on 36 caregiver-care receiver dyads recruited from six hospitals. The caregivers used the OHRC for 8 weeks. The impact of the intervention was assessed on both caregivers (primary) and care receivers (secondary). The data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, paired t tests, and content analyses.


Results: On average, caregivers reviewed five modules and used the discussion board 3.1 times. The mean perceived usability score for the OHRC was 74.04 +/- 7.26 (range, 12-84). Exposure to the OHRC significantly improved caregivers' knowledge about the care of hip fracture patients (t = 3.17, p = .004) and eHealth literacy (t = 2.43, p = .002). Changes in other caregiver outcomes (e.g., strain, coping, and social support) and care receiver outcomes (e.g., self-efficacy for exercise and osteoporosis medication adherence) were favorable but not significant.


Discussion: The findings suggest that the OHRC was user-friendly and could be beneficial for caregivers. Additional larger-scale trials are needed to assess the effectiveness of the intervention on outcomes.