Patients Follow Different Financial Hardship Trajectories in the Year after Injury

Madhuri V. Nishtala, Sarah E. Robbins, Stephanie Savage, Lava R. Timsina, Patrick B. Murphy, Nicholas A. Marka, Manasa Venkatesh, Ben L. Zarzau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if distinct financial trajectories exist and if they are associated with quality-of-life outcomes. Summary of Background Data: Financial hardship after injury measurably impacts Health-Related Quality of Life outcomes. Financial hardship, encompassing material losses, financial worry, and poor coping mechanisms, is associated with lower quality of life and increased psychological distress. However, recovery is dynamic and financial hardship may change over time. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a cohort of 500 moderate-to-severe nonneurologic injured patients in which financial hardship and Health-related Quality of Life outcomes were measured at 1, 2, 4, and 12 months after injury using survey instruments (Short Form-36). Enrollment occurred at an urban, academic, Level 1 trauma center in Memphis, Tennessee during January 2009 to December 2011 and follow-up completed by December 2012. Results: Four hundred seventy-four patients had sufficient data for Group- Based Trajectory Analysis. Four distinct financial hardship trajectories were identified: Financially Secure patients (8.6%) had consistently low hardship over time; Financially Devastated patients had a high degree of hardship immediately after injury and never recovered (51.6%); Financially Frail patients had increasing hardship over time (33.6%); and Financially Resilient patients started with a high degree of hardship but recovered by year end (6.2%). At 12-months, all trajectories had poor Short Form-36 physical component scores and the Financial Frail and Financially Devastated trajectories had poor mental health scores compared to US population norms. Conclusions and Relevance: The Financially Resilient trajectory demonstrates financial hardship after injury can be overcome. Further research into understanding why and how this occurs is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-966
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Science of the National Institutes of Health under award number K23GM084427. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • financial hardship
  • group based trajectory modeling
  • injury
  • trauma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


Dive into the research topics of 'Patients Follow Different Financial Hardship Trajectories in the Year after Injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this