Predicting quality of life six months after traumatic injury

James M. Kiely, Karen J. Brasel, Kevin L. Weidner, Clare E. Guse, John A. Weigelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Many factors are known to impact quality of life (QoL) after injury, but predictors of diminished QoL and the time course of recovery remain incompletely understood. This study examines predictors and correlates of QoL measured by the Short Form-36 (SF-36) one and six months postinjury. METHODS: Adults with nonneurologic blunt injury were prospectively enrolled. Demographic, injury, and socioeconomic data were collected. Patients were assessed with functional and psychologic measures. In all, 196 patients had 1-month data and 123 had 6-month data available. Scores were compared at each time point and also to population norms using t-tests. Multiple regression techniques were used to identify associations between the physical and mental component scores (PCS & MCS) of the SF-36 and patient characteristics. RESULTS: PCS scores improved significantly (32.8 ± 0.9 versus 41.3 ± 1.0, p < 0.05) whereas MCS scores (47.5 ± 1.1 versus 47.2 ± 1.1, p = NS) did not. Both remained significantly below population norms. Functional Independence Measure (FIM) at one month was predictive of PCS at 6 months. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was predictive of lower MCS, and depression was associated with poor MCS. Injury Severity Score was not associated with PCS or MCS. CONCLUSIONS: Overall physical and mental QoL measured by the SF-36 remains significantly below population norms 6 months after traumatic injury. It is possible to identify patients at risk for diminished QoL early during recovery by screening for functional status, PTSD, social support, and depression. Interventions to address these areas should be further studied with respect to their impact on long-term QoL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-797
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional Independence Measure
  • Injury
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Quality of life
  • Short-form 36
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting quality of life six months after traumatic injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this