The present study aimed to examine the effects of injury perceptions and perceived daily stress on health-related quality of life (HRQL) of individuals affected by a physical injury.
Two hundred and forty injured individuals completed questionnaires assessing HRQL (Medical Outcome Health Survey short-form 36), perceived daily-life stress (Perceived Stress Scale), and injury perceptions (Brief-InjPQ).
The direct effects of stress on HRQL scores were not moderated by gender. Emotional representation of the injury significantly mediated the links between PSS and all HRQL subscales only among women, but not among men. However, the mediation of the HRQL total score by emotional representations was significant for both genders. In addition, treatment control perceptions of the injury mediated the link between PSS and self-assessed health among men but not women, and injury-self perceptions mediated the link between PSS and physical functioning among men but not women.
These findings underscore the importance of perceived daily stress, gender, and injury perceptions as key factors for explaining variance in HRQL following injury. In addition to their conceptual contributions, the findings have clinical implications for treating injured populations.