Article

Guidelines for the conduction of follow-up studies measuring injury-related disability.

Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The Journal of trauma (Impact Factor: 2.96). 03/2007; 62(2):534-50. DOI: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31802e70c7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Scientific knowledge on functional outcome after injury is limited. During the past decade, a variety of measures have been used at various moments in different study populations. Guidelines are needed to increase comparability between studies.
A working group of the European Consumer Safety Association conducted a literature review of empirical studies into injury-related disability (1995-2005). We included injury from all levels of severity and selected studies using generic health status measures with both short-term and long-term follow up. The results were used as input for a consensus procedure toward the development of guidelines for defining the study populations, selecting the health status measures, selecting the timings of the assessments, and data collection procedures.
The group reached consensus on a common core of health status measures and assessment moments. The group advises to use a combination of EuroQol-5D and Health Utilities Mark III in all studies on injury-related disability. This combination covers all relevant health domains, is applicable in all kinds of injury populations and in widely different age ranges, provides a link with utility scores, and has several practical advantages (e.g., brevity, availability in different languages). For specific types of injury, the common core may be supplemented by injury-specific measures. The group advises a common core of assessments at 1, 2, 4, and 12 months after injury.
Our guidelines should be tested and may lead to improved and more consistent epidemiologic data on the incidence, severity, and duration of injury-related disability.

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