Functional Status and Quality of Life in Survivors of Injury Treated at Tertiary Trauma Centers: What Are We Neglecting?

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Background:The purpose of this study was to describe the functional status and quality of life (QOL) of patients at 12 months after injury.Methods:Retrospective study consisting of patients treated at three tertiary trauma centers for injuries. Functional capacity (FC) was measured using the Sickness Impact Profile and QOL was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (MOS SF-36) at approximately 12 months after the date of injury.Results:There were 144 patients that fulfilled the study inclusion and exclusion criteria. The mean duration of follow-up was 1.3 years, with a range of 0.8 to 1.5 years. Age and gender were not associated with the FC or QOL. The mean(standard deviation) Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 18.9(9.4), whereas ISS category distribution was 1 to 11 (22.9%), 12 to 24 (50.0%), and 25 to 49 (27.1%). Patients with an ISS of 25 to 49 had significantly worse physical (p = 0.008) and total (p = 0.023) Sickness Impact Profile scores and had more physical functioning (p = 0.096), emotional role functioning (p = 0.080), and energy (p = 0.017) impairments when compared with those with an ISS less than 24. Patients injured in motor vehicle collisions had significantly impaired psychosocial function (p = 0.031), whereas those injured in falls had reduced quality of life scores for physical function (p = 0.089), physical role (p = 0.066), and mental health (p = 0.081).Conclusion:Patients who survive injuries experience residual impairments in FC and QOL for as long as 1 year after injury. Changes to the long-term management of these patients should be considered.

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