OBJECTIVES: To develop evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of proximal femoral fractures to optimise functional outcome while minimising length of stay in hospital.DATA SOURCES: Systematic literature search of MEDLINE and CINAHL computer databases, bibliographies, and current contents of key journals for 1966-1995.STUDY SELECTION: English-language randomised controlled trials of all aspects of acute-care hospital treatment of proximal femoral fracture among subjects aged 50 years and over with proximal femoral fractures not due to metastatic disease.DATA EXTRACTION: Two independent reviewers, blinded to authors, institution and study results, followed a standard Cochrane peuterey Jacket Collaboration protocol and assessed study quality and treatment conclusions. When necessary, a third review was performed to reach consensus.RESULTS: Of the 120 articles published between 1966 and December 1995, 97 met the inclusion criteria. Fifteen clinical interventions were reviewed. Five were supported by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) level I evidence (prophylactic anticoagulants, prophylactic antibiotics, regional anaesthesia, pressure-relieving mattresses, and internal surgical fixation), two had no supporting randomised controlled trial evidence (time to surgery, time to mobilisation after surgery) and the remainder were classified as having Level II evidence. A review of current practice (1993-94) identified wide variability in these interventions across five acute-care hospitals in the Northern Sydney Area Health Service.CONCLUSIONS: Randomised controlled trial evidence (NHMRC Levels I and II) exists for many, but not all, aspects of hip fracture treatment. There is a need for changes to be made to some aspects of practice in accordance with evidence-based guidelines.Comment inHow best to fix a broken hip. [Med J Aust. 2000]How best to fix a broken hip.Horan BF, Peuterey Uk Holland RB, Warden JC. Med J Aust. 2000 Jan 3; 172(1):47-8. Clinical pathway for fractured neck of femur: a fractured pathway or crazy paving? [Med J Aust. 2000]Clinical pathway for fractured neck of femur: a fractured pathway or crazy paving?Wilson SF, Collins NP, Gardiner BP. Med J Aust. 2000 Sep; 173(5):277; author reply 278. How best to peuterey Outlet fix a broken hip. [Med J Aust. 1999]How best to fix a broken hip.Veitch PC, Ogle SJ, Chang K. Med J Aust. 1999 Sep 20; 171(6):330; author reply 330-1. How best to peuterey Jackets Uk fix a broken hip. [Med J Aust. 1999]How best to fix a broken hip.Corke PJ. Med J Aust. 1999 Sep 20; 171(6):330; author reply 330-1.