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Sociodemographic Factors Predict Recovery After Traumatic Injury

Last Updated: January 11, 2019.

Most traditional measures of injury severity may not be predictive of trauma recovery, but some sociodemographic characteristics are predictive of recovery, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in the Annals of Surgery.

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most traditional measures of injury severity may not be predictive of trauma recovery, but some sociodemographic characteristics are predictive of recovery, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in the Annals of Surgery.

Adil H. Haider, M.D., M.P.H., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues evaluated factors associated with patient-reported outcomes after moderate-to-severe injury. Patients who had been admitted to three level I trauma centers in Boston with major trauma were surveyed six to 12 months postinjury (1,736 participants).

The researchers found that 62 percent of patients reported current physical limitations, 37 percent needed help with at least one activity of daily living, 20 percent screened positive for posttraumatic stress disorder, and 41 percent of patients who were working previously were unable to return to work. In addition, all 12-item Short Form Health Survey physical health subdomain scores were significantly below U.S. norms. Almost none of the traditional measures of injury severity were associated with long-term outcomes, although female sex and low education were associated with worse recovery. The researchers noted that the long-term sequelae of trauma are more significant than previously expected.

"Collection of postdischarge outcomes identified specific patient characteristics associated with worse recovery, suggesting that social support systems are potentially at the core of recovery rather than traditional measures of injury severity," the authors write.

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