Health status and quality of life among road users with permanent medical impairment several years after the crash
Journal article, 2020

Objective
Improvements in road infrastructure and vehicle safety have been achieved in many countries during the last decades. As the number of fatalities have dropped, the consequences of non-fatal injuries have been brought into focus. Therefore, the objective was to investigate self-reported health status and health-related quality of life several years after the crash for road-users that sustained injuries resulting in permanent medical impairment (PMI).
Methods
A self-administered questionnaire using instruments to measure if health, health-related quality of life and physical activity had been affected by the crash, were used. The injured road-users were identified from insurance policy holders of the Folksam Insurance Group. The response rate was 29%, a total of 2078 responses were received from the 7174 road-users with PMI that received the questionnaire.
Results
In total 85% were still suffering from the injuries several years after the crash (8-18 year after the crash). Furthermore, road-users with injuries to the spine were having highest pain intensity. Older road-users had poorer self-reported health status than younger road-users. Although, younger road-users had the greatest change in physical activity when comparing before and after the crash. Before the crash in total 63% were physically active while only 34% after the crash. The higher the PMI the higher it affected health several years after the crash.
Conclusions
The Swedish definition of serious injury, an injury leading to PMI, was found to correlate with self-reported health loss; 85% of the injured road-users reported that they still had remaining symptoms several years after the accident. The injured body region leading to PMI after an accident can vary from the body regions reported to cause long-term health loss. It was found that the higher the degree of PMI the higher the health loss. Sustaining a PMI regardless severity and injured body region has the same effects on general health for men and women. Sustaining a PMI will both lower the health-related quality of life and physical activity after the crash compared to before.

permanent medical impairment

traffic injuries

long-term consequences

health-related quality of life

Self-reported health

Author

Helena Stigson

Karolinska Institutet

Folksams forskningsstiftelse

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Vehicle Safety

Maria Bostrom

University of Gothenburg

Anders Kullgren

Folksams forskningsstiftelse

Karolinska Institutet

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences

Traffic Injury Prevention

1538-9588 (ISSN) 1538-957X (eISSN)

Vol. In Press

Areas of Advance

Transport

Health Engineering

Subject Categories

Surgery

Vehicle Engineering

Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

DOI

10.1080/15389588.2020.1817416

PubMed

33026889

More information

Latest update

2/9/2021 1