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01-05-2014 | Uitgave 4/2014

Quality of Life Research 4/2014

A cross-sectional study of psychological complaints and quality of life in severely injured patients

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2014
C. C. H. M. van Delft-Schreurs, J. J. M. van Bergen, P. van de Sande, M. H. J. Verhofstad, J. de Vries, M. A. C. de Jongh



The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence of psychological complaints and the relationship of these complaints with the quality of life (QOL) and accident- and patient-related factors among severely injured patients after the rehabilitation phase.


Patients of 18 years or older with an injury severity score above 15 were included 15–53 months after their accident. Accident and patient characteristics were obtained from questionnaires and the trauma registry. Several questionnaires (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Impact of Events Scale, and Cognitive Failure Questionnaire) were used to determine the symptoms of psychological problems (anxiety or depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or subjective cognitive complaints, respectively). The World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref was used to determine QOL. A reference group of the Dutch general population was used for comparison of QOL scores.


The participation rate was 62 % (n = 173). At the time of the study, 30.1 % (n = 52) of the investigated patients had psychological complaints. No relation between psychological complaints and somatic severity or type of injury was found. Patients who were employed before the accident or resumed working reported less psychological complaints. Use of any medication before the accident and treatment for pre-accidental psychological problems were positively related to psychological complaints afterwards. QOL of severely injured patients was impaired in comparison with the general Dutch population, but only for those with psychological complaints.


Psychological complaints seem to be an important and underestimated factor for a decreased QOL among severely injured patients.

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