Long-Term Outcomes after Pediatric Injury: Results of the Assessment of Functional Outcomes and Health-Related Quality of Life after Pediatric Trauma Study

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network Assessment of Functional Outcomes and Health-Related Quality of Life after Pediatric Trauma Investigators

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Abstract

Background: Disability and impaired health-related quality of life can persist for months among injured children. Previous studies of long-term outcomes have focused mainly on children with specific injury types rather than those with multiple injured body regions. This study's objective was to determine the long-term functional status and health-related quality of life after serious pediatric injury, and to evaluate the associations of these outcomes with features available at hospital discharge. Study Design: We conducted a prospective observational study at 7 Level I pediatric trauma centers of children treated for at least 1 serious (Abbreviated Injury Scale severity 3 or higher) injury. Patients were sampled to increase the representation of less frequently injured body regions and multiple injured body regions. Six-month functional status was measured using the Functional Status Scale (FSS) and health-related quality of life using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Results: Among 323 injured children with complete discharge and follow-up assessments, 6-month FSS score was abnormal in 33 patients (10.2%)—16 with persistent impairments and 17 previously normal at discharge. Increasing levels of impaired discharge FSS score were associated with impaired FSS and lower Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory scores at 6-month follow-up. Additional factors on multivariable analysis associated with 6-month FSS impairment included older age, penetrating injury type, severe head injuries, and spine injuries, and included older age for lower 6-month Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory scores. Conclusions: Older age and discharge functional status are associated with long-term impairment of functional status and health-related quality of life. Although most seriously injured children return to normal, ongoing disability and reduced health-related quality of life remained 6 months after injury. Our findings support long-term assessments as standard practice for evaluating the health impacts of serious pediatric injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-675.e2
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume233
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

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