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Health status of critically ill trauma patients

Aitken, L. M., Chaboyer, W., Schuetz, M. , Joyce, C. & Macfarlane, B. (2014). Health status of critically ill trauma patients. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 23(5-6), pp. 704-715. doi: 10.1111/jocn.12026


Aims and objectives: To describe the recovery of trauma intensive care patients up to six months posthospital discharge.

Background: Injury is a leading cause of preventable mortality and morbidity worldwide, with approximately 10% of hospitalised trauma patients being admitted to intensive care. Intensive care patients experience significant ongoing physical and psychological burden after discharge; however, the patterns of recovery and the subgroups of intensive care patients who experience the greatest burden are not described.

Design: This prospective cohort study was conducted in one tertiary referral hospital in south-east Queensland, Australia.

Methods: Following ethics approval, injured patients who required admission to intensive care provided consent. Participants completed questionnaires prior to hospital discharge (n = 123) and one (n = 93) and six months (n = 88) later. Data included demographic and socioeconomic details, pre-injury health, injury characteristics, acute care factors, postacute factors [self-efficacy, illness perception, perceived social support and psychological status as measured by the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) and the PTSD Civilian Checklist] and health status (SF-36).

Results: All participants required ongoing support from healthcare providers in the six months after discharge from hospital, and approximately half required support services such as accommodation and home modifications. Approximately 20% of participants reported post-traumatic stress symptoms, while approximately half the participants reported psychological distress. Average quality of life scores were significantly below the Australian norms both one and six months postdischarge.

Conclusions: Trauma intensive care patients rely on ongoing healthcare professional and social support services. Compromised health-related quality of life and psychological health persists at six months.

Relevance to clinical practice: Effective discharge planning and communication across the care continuum is essential to facilitate access to healthcare providers and other support services in the community setting.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
SWORD Depositor:
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