No long-term impact of low-energy distal radius fracture on health-related quality of life and global quality of life: a case-control study

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009 Aug 25;10:106. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-10-106.


Background: Changes in patient-reported outcomes like health related quality of life (HRQOL) and global quality of life (GQOL) in patients with low-energy distal radius fracture might be related to fracture, or be within the normal range of variation in an elderly population. Hence, the present study aims to examine: Whether patients with low-energy distal radius fracture attain their pre-fracture levels in HRQOL and GQOL one year after the fracture and compare these levels with age- and sex-matched controls; and whether objective factors predict changes in HRQOL and GQOL during the same one year period.

Methods: We examined 160 patients and 169 age- and sex matched controls, respectively (mean +/- SD) 67 +/- 9 and 66 +/- 9 years of age. HRQOL was assessed by the Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (MHAQ) and the Short-Form 36 (SF-36). The Quality of Life Scale (QOLS) assessed GQOL. Paired sample t-tests and multiple linear regression analyses were applied.

Results: After one year no differences were found in HRQOL (assessed as arm functions, physical health and mental health) compared to pre-fracture level in the patient group. Both patients with distal radius fracture and controls reported a reduced GQOL after one year (p < 0.001). Low-energy distal radius fracture did not predict worsened HRQOL or GQOL one year after inclusion, and few predictors of changes were identified. Worsened arm function was predicted by low BMI (B = -0.20, p = 0.019) at baseline, worsened physical health was predicted by low education (B = 1.37, p = 0.017) at baseline, and living with someone predicted worsened mental health (B = 2.85, p = 0.009)

Conclusion: Patients with a distal radius fracture seem to manage well despite the fracture, and distal radius fracture is not an independent predictor of worsened HRQOL and GQOL.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Radius Fractures / psychology*
  • Radius Fractures / therapy
  • Time Factors