Advances in technology and the expansion of the emergency medical system have made emergency care available to large numbers of people experiencing trauma. Assessing the quality of life experienced by trauma survivors may assist in the development of interventions to optimize the outcomes in this patient population. The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of life experienced by severely injured trauma survivors, and to determine if a relation exists between the severity of the injury and the quality of life, the impact on the family of survivors, and the community resources needed by the survivors. Severely injured survivors of trauma in this study were defined as patients with a severity of injury severity score (ISS) of 25 or more and a trauma injury score (TRISS) of 0.90 or less. In this descriptive study, telephone interviews were conducted to administer the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), an analog scale, and a demographic data form. All the survivors were interviewed at least 6 months after discharge from the hospital. The data collected on 64 survivors showed that they experienced a significantly poorer quality of life after the trauma incidents, as indicated by both the SIP scores and the analog scores. Although most of the SIP’s 12 behavior categories indicated severe disruption, the behavior categories of work, recreation and pastimes, home management, and sleep and rest were the most negatively affected. Patients and families should be prepared for the physical, emotional, and financial disruptions that occur after severe traumatic injury. Support services, including community resources, are needed to optimize outcomes after discharge.

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