The road to recovery for vulnerable road users hospitalised for orthopaedic injury following an on-road crash

Anna Devlin, Ben Beck, Pam M. Simpson, Christina L. Ekegren, Melita J. Giummarra, Elton R. Edwards, Peter A. Cameron, Susan Liew, Andrew Oppy, Martin Richardson, Richard Page, Belinda J. Gabbe

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are vulnerable to serious injury due to limited external protective devices. Understanding the level of recovery, and differences between these road user groups, is an important step towards improved understanding of the burden of road trauma, and prioritisation of prevention efforts. This study aimed to characterise and describe patient-reported outcomes of vulnerable road users at 6 and 12 months following orthopaedic trauma. Methods: A registry-based cohort study was conducted using data from the Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry (VOTOR) and included pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists who were hospitalised for an orthopaedic injury following an on-road collision that occurred between January 2009 and December 2016. Outcomes were measured using the 3-level EuroQol 5 dimensions questionnaire (EQ-5D-3 L), Glasgow Outcome Scale – Extended (GOS-E) and return to work questions. Outcomes were collected at 6 and 12 months post-injury. Multivariable generalized estimating equations (GEE), adjusted for confounders, were used to compare outcomes between the road user groups over time. Results: 6186 orthopaedic trauma patients met the inclusion criteria during the 8-year period. Most patients were motorcyclists (42.8%) followed by cyclists (32.6%) and pedestrians (24.6%). Problems were most prevalent on the usual activities item of the EQ-5D-3 L at 6-months post-injury, and the pain/discomfort item of the EQ-5D-3 L at 12 months. The adjusted odds of reporting problems on all EQ-5D-3 L items were lower for cyclists when compared to pedestrians. Moreover, an average cyclist had a greater odds of a good recovery on the GOS-E, (AOR 2.75, 95% CI 2.33, 3.25) and a greater odds of returning to work (AOR = 3.13, 95% CI 2.46, 3.99) compared to an average pedestrian. Conclusion: Pedestrians and motorcyclists involved in on-road collisions experienced poorer patient-reported outcomes at 6 and 12 months post-injury when compared to cyclists. A focus on both primary injury prevention strategies, and investment in ongoing support and treatment to maximise recovery, is necessary to reduce the burden of road trauma for vulnerable road users.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105279
Number of pages10
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Bicyclist
  • Cyclist
  • Motorcycle rider
  • Motorcyclist
  • Orthopaedic injury
  • Pedal cyclist
  • Pedestrian
  • Quality of life
  • Road crash

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