Over 90% of hip fractures in older adults are due to falls. Wearable hip protectors have been shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk for hip fracture by up to 80% when worn, but user compliance with conventional garment-based hip protectors averages less than 50%. Improvements in product design may lead to enhanced compliance. This thesis describes the development and preliminary evaluation of usability in the acute care environment of a “stick-on” hip protector (secured over the hip with a skin-friendly adhesive). Through biomechanical testing, I developed a prototype that attenuates impact force by over 30% (higher than protectors currently used in Fraser Health). In a feasibility pilot trial, five of six patients wore the device for seven days. Additional input from 43 acute care providers during a Feedback Fair resulted in a 20 mm thick donut- shaped prototype of surface area 19x15.5 cm, that provided 36% force attenuation.
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Thesis advisor: Robinovitch, Stephen
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