Predictors of Health-Related Quality of Life Six Months after Traumatic Injury

Monday, 7 July 2008
Bih-O Lee, MSN, RN , Department of Nursing, Chung Hwa University of Medical Technology, Tainan, Taiwan
Wendy Chaboyer, PhD , Research Centre for Clinical Practice Innovation, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
Marianne Wallis, PhD, RN, BN , RCNA, Brisbane, Australia

Learning Objective 1: This study examined the predictors of HRQOL six months after hospital discharge following individuals experienced a moderate to severe traumatic injury.

Learning Objective 2: This study focuses on the ability of illness representations to predict HRQOL of patients with traumatic injury at six months after hospital discharge.

Design and method: A prospective predictive study, using a survey design was undertaken to identify the predictors of HRQOL. Telephone interviews were conducted six months after hospital discharge. Demographic, clinical data and two scales, the Chinese Illness Perception Questionnaire Revised (IPQ-R) (Trauma) and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36), were used in this study. Simultaneous multiple regressions were used to identify the predictors of HRQOL.

Findings: A total of 114 participants completed the survey. The illness representations that scored the highest were Illness Coherence, Controllability and Consequences. The average SF-36 Physical Summary Score and Mental Summary Score were lower than the Taiwanese SF-36 norm score. Significant predictors of the Physical Summary Score were Identity and Timeline (acute/chronic), and for the Mental Summary Score they were Identity, Emotional representations and Timeline (acute/chronic). Demographic and clinical characteristics did not predict HRQOL in patients with traumatic injury six months after traumatic injury.

Conclusions: Illness representations can be used to predict HRQOL six months after traumatic injury. These findings help nurses to understand illness perceptions of patients with traumatic injury, and it provides one foundation for interventional program based on guiding patients toward to have positive cognitive representations and better HRQOL following traumatic injury.

Clinical Relevance: By understanding patients' illness representations, nurses could provide information related to post-injury care to help patients reduce inconsistent representations between their expectations and the real situations. By helping patients understand the important role of early interventions may play in their recovery, clinicians may help patients develop more positive cognitive representations.