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01-11-2013 | Review | Uitgave 9/2013

Quality of Life Research 9/2013

Health status and (health-related) quality of life during the recovery of distal radius fractures: a systematic review

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 9/2013
M. A. C. Van Son, J. De Vries, J. A. Roukema, B. L. Den Oudsten



Distal radius fractures (DRF) cause long-term functional limitations. A subgroup (21.2 %) will never fully recover after DRF. Therefore, it is important to consider the health status (HS) and (health-related) quality of life (HR)QOL of these patients. The aim of this systematic review was to describe (1) the HS and (HR)QOL outcomes following DRF, (2) sociodemographic, clinical, and psychosocial factors associated with HS and (HR)QOL, and to (3) evaluate the conceptualization of HS and (HR)QOL in these studies.


A systematic literature search was conducted in Pubmed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO (January 1976–July 2012). A criteria list was used to assess the methodological quality of the studies.


Twenty-six studies were included with a mean quality score of 7.7 (SD = 1.7). The majority of studies had a low methodological quality. Twenty-three studies (88.5 %) focused exclusively on HS and only three studies examined (HR)QOL. However, 34.8 % of the outcomes were labeled as (HR)QOL by the authors, while in fact, HS was assessed. Sex, age, educational level, living situation, and radiocarpal arthritis were associated with HS. In general, no differences were found in HS and (HR)QOL when comparing different treatment modalities.


The focus of outcome research in DRF is mainly on HS instead of (HR)QOL. HS instruments were often mislabeled as (HR)QOL instruments. With inconclusive results of mostly low-quality studies, there is a need for high-quality prospective follow-up studies measuring HS and/or (HR)QOL while using the correct terminology.

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