Background: There are a few studies assessing repercussions in road accident victims, which reported their results in quality of life (QoL), on an epidemiologic point of view.
Methods: ESPARR (follow-up of victims of road accident in the Rhône) is a prospective cohort study of 1,168 individuals (age ≥ 16 years) involved in road traffic accidents, having been admitted to one of the hospitals in the Rhône département (France). The World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire-Brief Version (WHOQOL-Bref) was used to assess QoL at the 1-year follow-up. χ(2) analysis was performed to test differences between groups, logistic regression was performed to examine predictors of global QoL and health, and linear regression was performed to examine predictors of the four functioning domains of the WHOQOL-Bref.
Results: Lesion severity (New Injury Severity Index ≥ 16; odds ratio, 2.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-3.9) and presence of head lesions (odds ratio, 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.2) were predictive of unsatisfactory QoL. Female sex, educational level lower than school graduation, severe injury, intention to lodge a complaint, early postaccident medical complications were predictive of health dissatisfaction. Several factors seemed to be associated to a poor QoL; notably, posttraumatic stress disorder was associated with low scores in all four WHOQOL-Bref domains. Socioeconomic factors were also significant, notably financial problems.
Conclusion: The strong points of the present study lie in the fact that it is based on a representative cohort of road accident victims in an area in which all those treated within the hospital system after a road accident have been registered. The present study shows the strong correlation between QoL and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Level of evidence: Prognostic study, level II.