Effects of prior injury on long term patient reported outcomes after trauma

Carl A. Beyer*, Justin S. Hatchimonji, Katelyn Candido, Kristen Chreiman, Niels Martin, Jeremy W. Cannon, Patrick M. Reilly, Elinore J. Kaufman, Mark J. Seamon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Trauma is an episodic, chronic disease with substantial, long-term physical, psychological, emotional, and social impacts. However, the effect of recurrent trauma on these long-term outcomes remains unknown. We hypothesized that trauma patients with a history of prior traumatic injury (PTI) would have poorer outcomes 6 months (6mo) after injury compared with patients without PTI. METHODS Adult trauma patients admitted at an urban, academic, Level I trauma center were screened for inclusion (October 2020 to November 2021). Enrolled patients were administered the PROMIS-29 instrument, the primary care post-traumatic stress disorder screen, and standardized questions about prior trauma hospitalization, substance use, employment, and living situation at baseline and 6mo after injury. Assessment data was merged with clinical registry data, and outcomes were compared with respect to PTI. RESULTS Of 3,794 eligible patients, 456 completed baseline assessments and 92 completed 6mo surveys. Between those with or without PTI, there were no differences at 6mo after injury in the proportion of patients reporting poor function in social participation, anxiety, depression, fatigue, pain interference, or sleep disturbance. Prior traumatic injury patients reported poor physical function less often than patients without PTI (10 [27.0%] vs. 33 [60.0%], p = 0.002). After controlling for age, gender, race, injury mechanism, and Injury Severity Score, PTI correlated with a fourfold decrease in poor physical function risk (adjusted odds ratio, 0.243; 95% confidence interval, 0.081-0.733; p = 0.012) in the multivariable logistic regression model. CONCLUSION Compared with patients suffering their first injury, trauma patients with PTI have better self-reported physical function after a subsequent injury and otherwise equivalent outcomes across a range of HRQoL domains at 6mo. There remains substantial room for improvement to mitigate the long-term challenges faced by trauma patients and to facilitate their societal reintegration, regardless of the number of times they are injured. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Prognostic and Epidemiological; Level III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-698
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Recurrent trauma
  • patient reported outcomes
  • trauma outcomes


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