Measuring socioeconomic outcomes in trauma patients up to one year post-discharge: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Journal Article (Systematic Review;Review;Journal Article)


Trauma accounts for nearly one-tenth of the global disability-adjusted life-years, a large proportion of which is seen in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Trauma can affect employment opportunities, reduce social participation, be influenced by social support, and significantly reduce the quality of life (QOL) among survivors. Research typically focuses on specific trauma sub-groups. This dispersed knowledge results in limited understanding of these outcomes in trauma patients as a whole across different populations and settings. We aimed to assess and provide a systematic overview of current knowledge about return-to-work (RTW), participation, social support, and QOL in trauma patients up to one year after discharge.


We undertook a systematic review of the literature published since 2010 on RTW, participation, social support, and QOL in adult trauma populations, up to one year from discharge, utilizing the most commonly used measurement tools from three databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. We performed a meta-analysis based on the type of outcome, tool for measurement, and the specific effect measure as well as assessed the methodological quality of the included studies.


A total of 43 articles were included. More than one-third (36%) of patients had not returned to work even a year after discharge. Those who did return to work took more than 3 months to do so. Trauma patients reported receiving moderate social support. There were no studies reporting social participation among trauma patients using the inclusion criteria. The QOL scores of the trauma patients did not reach the population norms or pre-injury levels even a year after discharge. Older adults and females tended to have poorer outcomes. Elderly individuals and females were under-represented in the studies. More than three-quarters of the included studies were from high-income countries (HICs) and had higher methodological quality.


RTW and QOL are affected by trauma even a year after discharge and the social support received was moderate, especially among elderly and female patients. Future studies should move towards building more high-quality evidence from LMICs on long-term socioeconomic outcomes including social support, participation and unpaid work.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • David, SD; Aroke, A; Roy, N; Solomon, H; Lundborg, CS; Gerdin Wärnberg, M

Published Date

  • February 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 53 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 272 - 285

PubMed ID

  • 34706829

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-0267

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0020-1383

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.injury.2021.10.012


  • eng