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Fracture recovery research receives funding

April 21, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Research to improve older adults’ recovery from low-impact fractures and hip fractures has received funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors.

Christopher Sciamanna, MD, MPH, of the Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center will lead a $14 million study determining the effectiveness of using an exercise coaching program versus usual care to prevent further injuries and improve health for older adults who have experienced a low-impact fracture as the result of a fall.

The study will enroll 2,000 adults aged at least 65 years. “We hypothesize that over the three years of the study, a larger proportion of the patients who do not receive exercise coaching will have a fracture or fall-related injury than of those who receive exercise coaching,” the researchers write. “We predict that exercise coaching will reduce the chance of such an injury by almost half and prevent one such event for every 17 patients who receive coaching—an impact stronger than that of many other common prevention measures.”

Mark D. Neuman, MD, MS, of the University of Pennsylvania will lead a $12 million, five-year study examining whether older adults undergoing surgery for hip fracture have greater likelihood of regaining function and independence as well as experience fewer complications and less pain if they receive nerve-blocking regional anesthesia or general anesthesia.

The REGAIN (REgional versus General Anesthesia for promoting Independence after hip fracture) trial will enroll 1,600 patients from 18 academic and community hospitals across the United States. Participants will be aged 50 or more years.

“By comparing two universally available, basic anesthetic approaches, the REGAIN trial will directly and immediately affect patient decision-making, care and outcomes for the more than 300,000 U.S. patients who need surgery to treat hip fractures each year, as well as the more than 8.5 million older U.S. adults who face decisions about anesthesia for other major surgeries each year,” according to the researchers.

The awards are part of nearly $58.5 million in “pragmatic clinical study” funding granted by PCORI for five trials; that funding is part of the more than $120 million announced to fund 34 patient-centered clinical comparative effectiveness research studies of a range of conditions and patient populations.

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