Psychological Distress, Pain and Insurance Claims Negatively Affect Long-Term Health-Related Quality of Life After Road Traffic Injuries

Kevin K.C. Hung, Annette Kifley, Katherine Brown, Jagnoor Jagnoor, Ashley Craig, Belinda Gabbe, Sarah Derrett, Alex Collie, Michael Dinh, Bamini Gopinath, Ian D. Cameron, on behalf of the FISH Investigators

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OBJECTIVE: A prospective cohort study to investigate how injury and early post-injury psychosocial factors influence health outcomes 12 months after road traffic injury. METHODS: Residents of New South Wales, Australia, with road traffic injury in the period 2013-16 were recruited. Explanatory factors were evaluated for outcomes over 12 months using 12-Item Short Form Survey (SF-12) Physical and Mental Component Scores (PCS and MCS). Path models and mediation analysis were used to examine the effect of injury severity and explanatory factors. RESULTS: SF-12 PCS and MCS outcomes were poorer among participants with baseline psychological distress, for all injury severities (β coefficients -3.3 to -9.3, p < 0.0001). Baseline pain and psychological distress, and baseline PCS and MCS were each involved in indirect effects of injury severity on 12-month PCS and MCS. Injury severity, baseline PCS and MCS, and baseline psychological distress were also associated with the likelihood of a compulsory third-party insurance claim, and claiming was negatively associated with 12-month PCS and MCS outcomes (beta coefficients -0.22 and -0.14, respectively, for both, p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Baseline factors, including pain, psychological distress and lodging a compulsory third-party insurance claim, negatively impact long-term physical and mental health status following road traffic injury, emphasizing the importance of early screening and intervention. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australia New Zealand Clinical trial registry identification number: AC- TRN12613000889752.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjrm00310
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2022

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