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OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility of conducting a pragmatic, multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT) to test the clinical and cost-effectiveness of an informal caregiver training programme to support the recovery of people following hip fracture surgery. DESIGN: Two-arm, multicentre, pragmatic, open, feasibility RCT with embedded qualitative study. SETTING: National Health Service (NHS) providers in five English hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling adults, aged 60 years and over, who undergo hip fracture surgery and their informal caregivers. INTERVENTION: Usual care: usual NHS care. EXPERIMENTAL: usual NHS care plus a caregiver-patient dyad training programme (HIP HELPER). This programme comprised three, 1 hour, one-to-one training sessions for a patient and caregiver, delivered by a nurse, physiotherapist or occupational therapist in the hospital setting predischarge. After discharge, patients and caregivers were supported through three telephone coaching sessions. RANDOMISATION AND BLINDING: Central randomisation was computer generated (1:1), stratified by hospital and level of patient cognitive impairment. There was no blinding. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Data collected at baseline and 4 months post randomisation included: screening logs, intervention logs, fidelity checklists, acceptability data and clinical outcomes. Interviews were conducted with a subset of participants and health professionals. RESULTS: 102 participants were enrolled (51 patients; 51 caregivers). Thirty-nine per cent (515/1311) of patients screened were eligible. Eleven per cent (56/515) of eligible patients consented to be randomised. Forty-eight per cent (12/25) of the intervention group reached compliance to their allocated intervention. There was no evidence of treatment contamination. Qualitative data demonstrated the trial and HIP HELPER programme was acceptable. CONCLUSIONS: The HIP HELPER programme was acceptable to patient-caregiver dyads and health professionals. The COVID-19 pandemic impacting on site's ability to deliver the research. Modifications are necessary to the design for a viable definitive RCT. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN13270387.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmj open

Publication Date





hip, nursing care, orthopaedic & trauma surgery, rehabilitation medicine, Adult, Humans, Middle Aged, Aged, Caregivers, Feasibility Studies, England, Hip Fractures, Hospitals, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Quality of Life