Health status after traumatic injury
This study explored the relationships between health-related quality of life and postacute factors such as patients’ perceived access to information and support, perceptions of illness and ability to provide self-care after traumatic injury. Adults (18 years or older) admitted to hospital for Q24 hours for the acute treatment of trauma in two hospitals in Queensland, Australia, were enrolled in a prospective cohort study. Questionnaires completed at hospital discharge and 3 months and 6 months incorporated the following: demographic data; psychological factors (Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire, Information, Autonomy and Support Scale, and Therapeutic Self-Care Scale); and outcome data (medical short form-36). Data on injury and hospital stay were obtained from health care records and the Queensland Trauma Registry.One hundred ninety-four patients with a median Injury Severity Score 9 (interquartile range, 5Y14) were enrolled, with 125 (64%) completing questionnaires at 6 months. More than half the cohort reported symptoms of pain, fatigue, stiff joints, sleep difficulties, and loss of strength. All subscale scores on the short form-36 were below Australian norms 6 months after injury.
Predictors of poor physical health included older age, lower extremity injury, and increased perceived consequences of their injuries, whereas predictors of poor mental health included younger age, female gender, and lower perceived control over their
environment. Patients with minor to moderate injury based on anatomic injury scoring systems have ongoing challenges with recovery including problematic symptoms and low quality of life. Interventions aimed toward assisting recovery should not be
limited to trauma patients with major injury.