One-year development of QOL following orthopaedic polytrauma: a prospective observational cohort study of 53 patients

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INTRODUCTION: Most studies of polytrauma examined highly mixed patient groups. The objective of the present study was to report the development of patient-reported quality of life (QOL), in a patient group with musculoskeletal polytrauma, excluding patients with major thoracic, abdominal, and brain injuries.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study design was a 1-year cohort follow-up study. Recordings of injury severity were measured with the ISS and NISS. Patient-reported QOL was measured with the questionnaires Eq5d-5L and SF-36 and compared to age-matched reference populations. Moreover, patients return to work status was measured. Data were collected prospectively at discharge, 3, 6, and 12 months.

RESULTS: 53 patients were included. The mean age was 42.3 years, ranging from 17 to 78 years. Twelve months after trauma admission, the mean Eq5d-5L index was 0.601 (95 % CI 0.546-0.657). A progressive increasing Eq5d-5L index and SF-36 PCS was observed between the discharge and the 12-month follow-up (p < 0.001). The development in QOL from 6 to 12 months almost shows identically scores. Throughout the study period, patients reported significant worse QOL compared with the established reference population. 32 % of patients have resumed earlier employment status at 1-year follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: Throughout the 12-month observational period, patients reported worse QOL compared to the age-matched reference population. The development of QOL from 6- to 12-month time points almost showed identically scores with only little improvement. At the end of 1-year follow-up, 32 % of patients had resumed prior employment status.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1539-1546
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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