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Measuring functional outcomes in major trauma: can we do better?

Abstract

Purpose

There is relatively limited large scale, long-term unified evidence to describe how quality of life (QoL) and functional outcomes are affected after polytrauma. The aim of this study is to review validated measures available to assess QoL and functional outcomes and make recommendations on how best to assess patents after major trauma.

Methods

PubMed and EMBASE databases were interrogated to identify suitable patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for use in major trauma, and current practice in their use globally.

Results

Overall, 81 papers met the criteria for inclusion and evaluation. Data from these were synthesised. A full set of validated PROMs tools were identified for patients with polytrauma, as well as critique of current tools available, allowing us to evaluate practice and recommend specific outcome measures for patients following polytrauma, and system changes needed to embed this in routine practice moving forward.

Conclusion

To achieve optimal outcomes for patients with polytrauma, we will need to focus on what matters most to them, including their needs (and unmet needs). The use of appropriate PROMs allows evaluation and improvement in the care we can offer. Transformative effects have been noted in cases where they have been used to guide treatment, and if embedded as part of the wider system, it should lead to better overall outcomes. Accordingly, we have made recommendations to this effect. It is time to seize the day, bring these measures even further into our routine practice, and be part of shaping the future.

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Correspondence to Peter V. Giannoudis.

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Andrzejowski, P., Holch, P. & Giannoudis, P.V. Measuring functional outcomes in major trauma: can we do better?. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg 48, 1683–1698 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00068-021-01720-1

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Keywords

  • Major trauma
  • Polytrauma
  • Quality of life
  • Functional outcomes
  • Patient reported outcomes (PROM (s))