Health-Related Quality of Life after Polytrauma: A Systematic Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Following hospital discharge after traumatic injuries, many patients' rehabilitation is inhibited by poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Objective: The purpose of this review is to identify factors that influence the HRQoL of polytrauma patients after hospital discharge. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in CINAHL and PubMed databases for English-language articles published between January 2015 and January 2020. Articles that dealt with pediatric or narrow adult populations, exclusively considered brain and spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, or isolated fractures were excluded. In total, 22 nonexperimental cohort studies were eligible for inclusion. Results: Based on these studies, with minor disagreements explainable by deficient sampling, variables that impacted HRQoL fell into 11 categories: demographics, preinjury HRQoL, preexisting conditions, mental health status, injury type and location, injury severity, course of hospitalization, time after injury, financial and employment status, functional capacity, and pain. Conclusion: The finding with the greatest implications was that mental health, positive coping, self-efficacy, and perception of physical state significantly influence HRQoL after injury and, along with other modifiable variables, can be optimized by directed treatment. Additionally, targeted assessments and interventions can be utilized to improve quality of life for patients with nonmodifiable risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Trauma Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • HRQoL
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Polytrauma
  • Quality-of-life outcomes
  • Traumatic injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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