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01-05-2016 | Uitgave 5/2016 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 5/2016

The course of health status and (health-related) quality of life following fracture of the lower extremity: a 6-month follow-up study

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 5/2016
M. A. C. Van Son, J. De Vries, J. A. Roukema, T. Gosens, M. H. J. Verhofstad, B. L. Den Oudsten



The aim of this prospective study was to describe the course of health status (HS), health-related quality of life, and quality of life (QOL) in patients with lower extremity fractures (LEF) up to 6 months post-fracture.


Patients (n = 171; age range 18–100 years) completed the World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment instrument-Bref (WHOQOL-Bref) and the Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment questionnaire (SMFA) at time of diagnosis (i.e., pre-injury status), 1 week, and 6 months post-fracture. Linear mixed modeling was performed.


Interaction effects of time with treatment were detected for the WHOQOL-Bref facet Overall QOL and General health (p = .002) and Physical health (p = .003). Patients did not return to their pre-injury Physical health, Psychological health, and Environment 6 months post-fracture (p < .05). No effects were found for Social relationships. The SMFA subscale Lower extremity dysfunction showed main effects for time and treatment (p < .0001) with full recovery at 6 months (p = .998). An interaction effect of time with treatment was found for Daily life consequences (p < .0001) with nonoperatively treated patients showing full recovery (p = 1.00), whereas surgically treated patients did not (p = .002).


Six months after LEF, patients still experienced impaired physical and psychological health on the WHOQOL-Bref compared to their pre-injury status. However, patients showed full recovery on SMFA Lower extremity dysfunction, indicating that the choice of the questionnaire influences the derived conclusions. LEF did not affect satisfaction with social relationships.

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