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Journal Article

Citation

Greenspan AI, Kellermann AL. J. Trauma 2002; 53(4): 709-716.

Affiliation

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA. agreens@emory.edu

Copyright

(Copyright © 2002, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)

DOI

10.1097/01.TA.0000022350.03761.F8

PMID

12394871

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine the health status and psychological distress of gunshot injury victims 8 months after hospital discharge. METHODS: Sixty patients admitted to a Level I trauma center for firearm-related injuries were interviewed during their hospitalization and again 8 months postdischarge. Health status was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Symptoms of posttraumatic stress (avoidance and intrusion) were assessed using the Impact of Event Scale. RESULTS: Subjects were predominantly young (mean age, 30 years), male (92%), and African-American (95%). Mean SF-36 scores at follow-up were significantly worse than preinjury scores for all subscales (p < 0.05). Symptoms of posttraumatic stress were common; 39% of respondents reported severe intrusive thoughts and 42% reported severe avoidance behaviors. Admission Injury Severity Scores did not predict poor health status 8 months postdischarge, but intrusion symptoms were strongly associated with lower SF-36 scores. CONCLUSION: Many hospitalized survivors of gunshot injuries report significant long-term declines in physical and/or mental health. Injury severity at hospital admission may not be predictive of long-term health status.

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