Health status, health-related quality of life, and quality of life following ankle fractures: A systematic review

M.A.C. van Son, J. de Vries, J.A. Roukema, B.L. den Oudsten

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The number of disabling short- and long-term consequences after ankle fracture (AF) is high. Therefore, it is important to consider the health status (HS), health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and quality of life (QOL) of these patients. The aim of this study was to provide a systematic overview of studies on HS, HRQOL, and QOL in patients with AF. In addition, the conceptualisation of HS, HRQOL, and QOL in these studies was evaluated.
A systematic literature search was conducted in Pubmed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO (January 1976 to April 2012).
Twenty-three studies were included of which almost half had a cross-sectional design. The assessment of HRQOL or QOL was an explicit objective in 17.4% of the studies. The SF-36 and SMFA were the instruments most often used and measure respectively HS and a combination of HS and HRQOL. However, they had been labelled as functional status. Inconclusive results were reported regarding the predictive value of age, sex, education level, alcohol use, smoking, fracture type, and the role of syndesmotic reduction with regard to HS and HRQOL. Also, inconclusive results were found comparing HS and HRQOL scores of patients with AF with norm population scores and regarding the course of HS and HRQOL over time. The additional value of early mobilisation after AF was not confirmed.
There are few quality studies on HS and HRQOL following AF and results are inconclusive. Future studies should measure these important patient-reported outcomes, including QOL. The concepts HS and HRQOL are not applied in agreement with the content of the instruments and instruments are downgraded to assess functional status. The correct terminology should be used to warrant clear communication in the field.
Keywords: Health status, Health-related quality of life, Quality of life, Ankle fractures, Systematic review
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1402
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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