Background: This study aimed to determine quality of life after injury and identify factors potentially associated with outcome.
Methods: Five years after injury from blunt or penetrating trauma, patients received a questionnaire based on the SF-36 Health Survey.
Results: Two hundred five patients (83%) replied. Most were men, median age 39 years, 93% injured by blunt energy, median Injury Severity Score 14 (range 9-57). Mean SF-36 scores were significantly lower than in a matched reference group. Poor outcome was associated with: in-hospital days, intensive care days, surgical procedures, in-hospital major complications, age, recurrent injury, and inadequate information. Subjects reported considerable physical (68%) and psychologic (41%) disabilities. Near half reported need of improved follow-up care. Injury severity did not predict poor health-related quality of life 5 years later.
Conclusion: Adequate information, sufficient pain management and follow-up by trauma specialist teams are needed. Certain factors can help identify patients in need of additional help and support.