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Rehabilitation following proximal humeral fracture in the UK National Health Service: A survey of publicly facing information

Rohun, J and May, P and Littlewood, C (2020) Rehabilitation following proximal humeral fracture in the UK National Health Service: A survey of publicly facing information. Musculoskeletal Care. ISSN 1478-2189

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Abstract

© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Introduction: Proximal humeral fractures (PHF) are a common injury in the older population but there is limited research evaluating rehabilitation following PHF. The aim of this study was to understand current National Health Service (NHS) practice for rehabilitation following PHF as a platform for conducting future research. Methods: Two reviewers independently undertook electronic searches for publicly available information sheets (PIS) from websites of NHS Trusts that included detail about rehabilitation following PHF, for example, duration of immobilisation. One reviewer extracted data and a second reviewer verified this. Results: Seventeen PIS from 17 different NHS trusts were identified. All provided some information on the method of immobilisation but only six provided guidance on duration of immobilisation with the median time being 2 weeks (range 0–6). The median time to commencement of passive exercise was 2 weeks (range 0–4) and 9 weeks (range 6–12) for active exercise. Only one PIS reported on the time for commencement of resisted exercises and this was reported as 6 weeks. The median time recommended return to work was 7.5 weeks (range 6–12). Conclusion: This study found limited publicly available information for rehabilitation following PHF in the NHS but offers some insight into current approaches. Our results will facilitate development of relevant information for patients and evaluation of rehabilitation strategies in future research.

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