Objective: To characterize the net cost and quality of life effects associated with hip protector use among the elderly relative to no intervention.
Methods: We developed two deterministic hypothetical cohorts of 500,000 65-year-old women or men and followed them over the remainder of their lifetimes. Data inputs were collected from secondary sources. Net costs are expressed in 1999 U.S. dollars, whereas net effectiveness is expressed in lives saved and in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained.
Results: Hip protector use results in net cost savings for both elderly women and men. Women over age 65 and men over age 85 also gain QALYs through hip protector use.
Conclusions: Using the estimates available in the literature, our analysis indicates that use of hip protectors among women is associated with large cost savings and QALY gains even when accounting for the inconvenience of using the protectors. Among men, hip protectors are also associated with cost savings (although of smaller magnitude), but there are net losses of QALYs because of the inconveniences associated with the protectors.