Quality of life in severely injured patients depends on psychosocial factors rather than on severity or type of injury. Injury

C.C. van Delft-Schreurs, J. van Bergen, M.A. de Jongh, P. van de Sande, M.H. Verhofstad, J. de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Former studies have demonstrated that health-related quality of life is decreased in severely injured patients. However, in those studies patients were asked about their functioning and not about their (dis)contentment concerning their functioning. Little is known about how severely injured patients experience their quality of life (QOL). The objective of this cross-sectional study was to measure this subjective QOL of severely injured patients after their rehabilitation phase and to examine which accident- and patient-related factors affect the QOL of these patients.
Patients of 18 years or older with an injury severity score (ISS) above 15 were included 15–53 months after their accident. Comorbidity before the accident, accident and sociodemographic characteristics, and QOL were obtained from the trauma registry and questionnaires. The WHOQOL-BREF was used to measure QOL. A reference group of the Dutch general population was used for comparison.
The participation rate was 61% (n = 173). Compared with the reference data, severely injured patients experienced a significantly worse QOL in all domains except social relations. The QOL scores were significantly decreased in all domains for patients with intracranial injury in combination with other injuries. Patients with a severe intracranial injury (AIS > 3) only reported significantly impaired QOL in the general and physical domains. Patients who resumed working or lived with others had significantly higher scores in all domains of QOL than patients who did not work anymore or were living alone. Significantly lower QOL scores were obtained from patients with comorbidity before the accident and from patients with longer durations of intensive care unit (ICU) treatment or hospitalisation. Gender, accident characteristics and time since the accident did not appear to be important for experienced QOL.
The experience of impaired QOL appears to depend on living alone, inability to return to work and pre-accidental comorbidity rather than on the injured body area or the severity of the injury. Duration of hospital or ICU stay is important to subsequent QOL, even if ISS or body region is not.Keywords: Quality of life, Injury, Trauma
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-326
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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