Feasibility of a multicomponent cognitive behavioral intervention for fear of falling after hip fracture: process evaluation of the FIT-HIP intervention

M.N. Scheffers-Barnhoorn*, M. van Eijk, J.M.G.A. Schols, R. van Balen, G.I.J.M. Kempen, W.P. Achterberg, J.C.M. van Haastregt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BackgroundThis study describes the process evaluation of an intervention developed to reduce fear of falling (FoF) after hip fracture, within an inpatient geriatric rehabilitation setting. This 'FIT-HIP intervention' is a multicomponent cognitive behavioral intervention, conducted by physiotherapists and embedded in usual care in geriatric rehabilitation in the Netherlands. A previous study (cluster randomized controlled trial) showed no beneficial effects of this intervention when compared to usual care. The aim of this study was to gain insight into factors related to the intervention process that may have influenced the effectiveness of the intervention.MethodsThis process evaluation was conducted using an observational prospective study design. Based on quantitative and qualitative data derived from session logs, evaluation questionnaires and interviews, we addressed: 1] recruitment and reach; 2] performance according to protocol; 3] patients' adherence; and 4] opinions of patients and facilitators on the intervention. Participants in this study were: a) patients from 6 geriatric rehabilitation units, who were invited to participate in the intervention (39 adults aged >= 65years with hip fracture and FoF) and; b) intervention facilitators (14 physiotherapists and 8 psychologists who provide coaching to the physiotherapists).ResultsThirty-six patients completed the intervention during inpatient geriatric rehabilitation. Apart from cognitive restructuring and telephonic booster (which was not provided to all patients), the intervention was performed to a fair degree in accordance with protocol. Patients' adherence to the intervention was very good, and patients rated the intervention positively (average 8.1 on a scale 0-10). Although most facilitators considered the intervention feasible, a limited level of FoF (possibly related to timing of intervention), and physiotherapists' limited experience with cognitive restructuring were identified as important barriers to performing the intervention according to protocol.ConclusionsThe FIT-HIP intervention was only partly feasible, which may explain the lack of effectiveness in reducing FoF. To improve the intervention's feasibility, we recommend selecting patients with maladaptive FoF (i.e. leading to activity restriction), being more flexible in the timing of the intervention, and providing more support to the physiotherapists in conducting cognitive restructuring.Trial registrationNetherlands Trial Register: NTR5695 (7 March 2016).
Original languageEnglish
Article number224
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Process evaluation
  • Feasibility
  • Fear of falling
  • Hip fracture
  • Cognitive behavioral intervention
  • Geriatric rehabilitation


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