Quality of life and facial trauma: psychological and body image effects

Ann Plast Surg. 2005 May;54(5):502-10. doi: 10.1097/01.sap.0000155282.48465.94.


This study evaluated the social and psychologic impact of facial trauma on previously healthy individuals. Inclusion criteria for the study included 18- to 45-year-old individuals who had a facial laceration of 3 cm or greater and/or a fractured facial bone requiring operative intervention within 6 months to 2 years prior to participation in the study. Retrospective analysis of patients at Yale New Haven Hospital Emergency Department was done between May 1997 and December 1998. When compared with a control population, the study group showed a statistically significant lower satisfaction with life, more negative perception of body image, higher incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder, higher incidence of alcoholism, and an increase in depression. Also, among the study group there was a significantly higher incidence of posttrauma unemployment, marital problems, binge drinking, jail, and lower attractiveness scores. In conclusion, in this preliminary study, it appears that the result of facial scarring/trauma includes a significantly decreased satisfaction with life, an altered perception of body image, a higher incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder, a higher incidence of alcoholism, and increased posttrauma jail, unemployment, binge drinking, and marital problems. Thus, it appears that there is significant negative social and functional impact related to facial trauma and scarring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / etiology
  • Body Image*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Facial Injuries / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Unemployment / psychology