Financial toxicity after trauma and acute care surgery: From understanding to action

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2023 Nov 1;95(5):800-805. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000003979. Epub 2023 May 1.


Gains in inpatient survival over the last five decades have shifted the burden of major injuries and surgical emergencies from the acute phase to their long-term sequelae. More attention has been placed on evaluation and optimization of long-term physical and mental health; however, the impact of major injuries and surgical emergencies on long-term financial well-being remains a critical blind spot for clinicians and researchers. The concept of financial toxicity encompasses both the objective financial consequences of illness and medical care as well as patients' subjective financial concerns. In this review, representatives of the Healthcare Economics Committee from the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (1) provide a conceptual overview of financial toxicity after trauma or emergency surgery, (2) outline what is known regarding long-term economic outcomes among trauma and emergency surgery patients, (3) explore the bidirectional relationship between financial toxicity and long-term physical and mental health outcomes, (4) highlight policies and programs that may mitigate financial toxicity, and (5) identify the current knowledge gaps and critical next steps for clinicians and researchers engaged in this work.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care
  • Emergencies*
  • Financial Stress*
  • Humans
  • United States