Because the ultimate goal of trauma care is to restore injured patients to their former functional status, reliable evaluation of functional status is needed to assess fully the effectiveness of trauma care. We hypothesized that the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), a widely used measure of general health status, would be a useful tool to evaluate the long-term functional outcome of trauma patients and that the SIP would identify unexpected problems in the recovery process and groups of patients at high risk for long-term disability. A prospective cohort of 329 patients with lower extremity fractures admitted to three level I trauma centers were interviewed using SIP at 6 and 12 months postinjury. Patients with major neurologic injuries were excluded. Overall SIP scores and each of the component subscores may range from 0 (no disability) to 100. In this series, the mean overall SIP was 9.5 at 6 months and 6.8 at 12 months, compared with a preinjury baseline of 2.5. At 12 months, 52% of patients had no disability (SIP 0 to 3), 23% mild disability (4 to 9), 16% moderate disability (10 to 19), and 9% severe disability (≥20). Disability was widely distributed across the spectrum of activities of daily living, including physical functioning (mean score of 5.5), psychosocial health (mean score of 5.5), sleeping (mean score of 10.0), and work (mean score of 21.0). The SIP scores did not correlate with Injury Severity Score. Higher SIP scores were associated with multiple fractures, higher extremity Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS), and head injuries (p < 0.05), even though the head injuries in this series were minor (mean head AIS score of 2.1). In conclusion, SIP is a useful tool to evaluate overall functional outcome of trauma patients. Disability in psychosocial functioning was prominent even in this group of patients whose primary injury was a lower extremity fracture. Patients with even minor-associated head injuries were identified as a group at especially high risk for prolonged generalized disability.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care|
|State||Published - Nov 27 1995|