Measuring post-discharge socioeconomic and quality of life outcomes in trauma patients: a scoping review

J Patient Rep Outcomes. 2021 Aug 9;5(1):68. doi: 10.1186/s41687-021-00346-6.


Purpose: Trauma is a global public health challenge. Measuring post-discharge socioeconomic and quality-of-life outcomes can help better understand and reduce the consequences of trauma.

Methods: We performed a scoping review to map the existing research on post-discharge outcomes for trauma patients, irrespective of the country or setting in which the study was performed. The scoping review was conducted by searching six databases - MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Global Index Medicus, BASE, and Web of Science - to identify all articles that report post-discharge socioeconomic or quality of life outcomes in trauma patients from 2009 to 2018.

Results: Seven hundred fifty-eight articles were included in this study, extracting 958 outcomes. Most studies (82%) were from high-income countries (HICs). More studies from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were cross-sectional (71%) compared with HIC settings (46%). There was a wide variety of different definitions, interpretations, and measurements used by various articles for similar outcomes. Quality of life, return to work, social support, cost, and participation were the main outcomes studied in post-discharge trauma patients.

Conclusions: The wide range of outcomes and outcome measures reported across different types of injuries and settings. This variability can be a barrier when comparing across different types of injuries and settings. Post-discharge trauma studies should move towards building evidence based on standardized measurement of outcomes.

Keywords: Injury; Post-discharge; Scoping review; Socioeconomic outcomes; Trauma.

Publication types

  • Review