Predictors of health-related quality of life after non-catastrophic injury sustained in a road traffic crash

Bamini Gopinath*, Jagnoor Jagnoor, Annette Kifley, Michael Dinh, Ashley Craig, Ian D. Cameron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important patient-reported outcome that warrants greater attention in individuals who sustained a non-catastrophic injury in a road traffic crash. Additional robust data on HRQoL outcomes after a non-catastrophic injury are needed to effectively identify potential targets for studies of tertiary prevention of poor recovery after a crash. Objective: We assessed the association between non-catastrophic road traffic crash injuries and HRQoL and factors that independently affect long-term HRQoL. Methods: In this inception cohort study, injured participants (≥ 17 years old) were identified from various sources including hospital emergency departments by a medical examination by a registered healthcare professional in New South Wales (Australia) and followed up after 12 months. HRQoL was measured by the European Quality of Life–5 Dimensions (EQ-5D-3L) and Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form 12 items (SF-12). A range of socio-demographic, pre-injury health, psychological, and injury-related factors were considered potential predictors of HRQoL in regression analyses. Results: Among 2019 individuals identified, 1201 (59.5%) were followed up after 12 months. HRQoL significantly improved between baseline and 12-month follow-up: EQ-5D-3L summary score (0.41-unit difference); SF-12 physical component summary score (PCS; 13.6-unit difference) and mental component summary score (MCS; 3.5-unit difference). Over 12 months, HRQoL score was lower for people claiming compensation than others (P < 0.0001). Key predictors of better 12-month EQ-5D-3L summary score and visual analogue scale score for pain were age, not claiming compensation, reduced body mass index, less pain severity, less pain-related disability, and less general psychological distress. Significant predictors of SF-12 PCS score were injury to the neck (P = 0.02) or head or face (P = 0.01), being a driver or passenger at the time of the crash (P < 0.0001), hospital admission (P < 0.0001) and pain severity (P < 0.0001). Baseline variables associated with 12-month SF-12 MCS scores were head or face injury (P = 0.02), pre-injury health (P = 0.04), pre-injury psychological conditions (P = 0.04), trauma-related distress (P = 0.0002) and general psychological distress (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: A wide spectrum of biopsychosocial factors contribute to HRQoL after a road traffic crash injury. These epidemiological data are potentially important because they could identify potential targets for studies of tertiary prevention of persistently poor HRQoL after such an injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • health-related quality of life
  • non-catastrophic injury
  • road traffic crash
  • cohort study


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