Life beyond severe traumatic injury: an integrative review of the literature

Elizabeth Halcomb, John Daly, Patricia M Davidson, Doug Elliott, Rhonda Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is only recently that recognition of the serious and debilitating sequelae of trauma has prompted exploration of outcomes beyond survival, such as disability, health status and quality of life. This paper aims to review the literature describing outcomes following severe traumatic injury to provide clinicians with a greater understanding of the recovery trajectory following severe trauma and highlight the issues faced by those recovering from such injury. Electronic databases, published reference lists and the Internet were searched to identify relevant literature. The heterogeneous nature of published literature in this area prohibited a systematic approach to inclusion of papers in this review. Trauma survivors report significant sequelae that influence functional status, psychological wellbeing, quality of life and return to productivity following severe injury. Key themes that emerge from the review include: current trauma systems which provide inadequate support along the recovery trajectory; rehabilitation referral which is affected by geographical location and provider preferences; a long-term loss of productivity in both society and the workplace; a high incidence of psychological sequelae; a link between poor recovery and increased drug and alcohol consumption; and valued social support which can augment recovery. Future research to evaluate interventions which target the recovery needs of the severely injured patients is recommended. Particular emphasis is required to develop systematic, sustainable and cost-effective follow-up to augment the successes of existing acute trauma services in providing high quality acute resuscitation and definitive trauma management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Critical Care
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

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Wounds and Injuries
Quality of Life
Psychology
Resuscitation
Workplace
Social Support
Alcohol Drinking
Internet
Health Status
Survivors
Referral and Consultation
Rehabilitation
Databases
Costs and Cost Analysis
Survival
Incidence
Pharmaceutical Preparations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care

Cite this

Life beyond severe traumatic injury : an integrative review of the literature. / Halcomb, Elizabeth; Daly, John; Davidson, Patricia M; Elliott, Doug; Griffiths, Rhonda.

In: Australian Critical Care, Vol. 18, No. 1, 02.2005, p. 17-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Halcomb, Elizabeth ; Daly, John ; Davidson, Patricia M ; Elliott, Doug ; Griffiths, Rhonda. / Life beyond severe traumatic injury : an integrative review of the literature. In: Australian Critical Care. 2005 ; Vol. 18, No. 1. pp. 17-24.
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