Long-term prevalence of impairments and disabilities after multiple trauma

J Trauma. 1997 Jan;42(1):54-61. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199701000-00010.


The prevalence of impairments and disabilities in activities of daily living (ADL), nonwork activities, and work were registered in a consecutive series (n = 69) of subjects with severe injuries. At follow-up 3 years after trauma, residual impairments prevailed in 80%. Only a few (6%) were ADL-dependent. Seventy-six percent had lost at least one nonwork activity, while vocational disability caused by the trauma occurred in 19%. Cognitive impairment was significantly associated with vocational disability, while physical impairment and pain were significantly associated with nonwork disability. Other parameters that influenced vocational disability negatively were age and blue-collar employment status. Although overall changes in social network quantity and quality were small, significantly more subjects with cognitive impairment or vocational disability experienced a decline in the quality and quantity of their social network after trauma. Furthermore, 25% of the subjects reported an increase in feelings of loneliness after trauma. We recommend the design of individualized, multidisciplinary rehabilitation plans before discharge from departments of surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Abbreviated Injury Scale
  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons / classification*
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Trauma / rehabilitation*
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires