17 Jan Gunshot Survivors Suffer Multiple Long-Term Consequences
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Juan P. Herrera-Escobar, MD, MPH
Research Director, Long-term Outcomes in Trauma
Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Instructor in Surgery, Harvard Medical School
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Firearm injuries are a pressing public health problem in the United States. Until now, most of the research on this problematic has focused on mortality, which of course is critical, but is only one piece of the story. For every person who dies from a firearm injury, three survive every year. As trauma systems continue to improve and save more lives every year, our attention should start shifting to the impact that firearm injuries have on survivors.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found that firearm injury survivors had a very high prevalence of chronic pain (68%), positive screening for posttraumatic stress disorder (53%), poor health-related quality of life, and most did not return to work (59%) 6-12 months after injury. In addition, we found that most of these rates were significantly higher than a comparable (in terms of age, gender, race, injury severity, etc.) population of motor-vehicle crash survivors.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The impact of firearm injuries is not limited to deaths. The long-term burden born in survivors is huge and affects multiple domains, such as physical health, mental health, reintegration to society, and quality of life.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research efforts should focus on gaining a better understanding of the underlying causes and driving forces that explain worse long-term outcomes in survivors of firearm injuries compared to other survivors of traumatic injury. That will require deepening in differential aspects of socioeconomic status, patients’ social support networks, access to healthcare services, and several other factors that are not necessarily injury-related.
Nothing to disclose
Herrera-Escobar, JP et al. “Patient Reported Outcomes at 6-12 Months Among Survivors of Firearm Injury in the United States” Annals of Surgery DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003797
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